This week we have answers to four different questions about Camille Claudel:
From Caleb in New York:
Hi Nan! I was at Linda's concert at the Palace Theater in December and she seemed very
frustrated by the slow progress of Camille Claudel, and expressed doubts that the show
would ever be seen. In your own opinion, what would be your ideal progression for the show from
here on and what do you see it's actual journey being? Thanks!
What is the possibility of there being a Camille Claudel concept recording? It would
be a great way to market the show and get people familiar with the score like the producers did
with Jekyll & Hyde.
From Bill Bishop in Washington, D.C.:
Hi Nan! First of all, your writing is simply incredible! Secondly, wondering when Camille
Claudel will be released on CD. Any idea? HUGE Linda fan here (naturally).
From Elphaba1977 in Las Vegas:
I am a singer here in Las Vegas and I absolutely love your work. I recently saw Linda Eder
here in cocnert and she did a number from Camille Claudel. It was the "What's never been
done before" number. I was blown away by the beauty of it. I was wondering if the sheet music is
ever going to be made available. I would love to sing it. Thanks.
Thursday, 7 April 2005
I want to thank all you guys for writing and inquiring about "Camille Claudel" and whether or
not there will be a production, recording or sheet music forthcoming. For the moment, sadly, the
answer is: no. "Camille" is a difficult show for 2005. Audiences these days are responding
primarily to shows like "Mamma Mia," "Hairspray," "The Producers," etc. These are big
mass-appeal fun shows, and producers are very keyed-in to this appetite. We have had nothing but
great response to "Camille." People believe it is both Frank's and my best work to date, and
everyone has been quite honestly supportive of its artistic worth. But I don't think any of the
producers knew how to market it and none of them felt they could make money with it. And after
all, this is a business. That's the bottom line. And timing is everything. We've written and
presented "Camille" during a time period which is not conducive to an intimate musical about a
female French sculptor. What can you do? Maybe after a few years the climate will change, at
which point we would definitely tackle the project again. God knows Frank and Linda and I don't
want this story and these songs to be lost. And I feel such sadness at the loss of the
extraordinarily beautiful stage pictures created by Gabriel Barre with the living sculptures and
the dances choreographed by Mark Dendy. We all still feel deeply committed to the show and are
incredibly grateful to Goodspeed for all their support throughout. But- at the moment- no
production, no album, no sheet music. I do love your idea, Glenden, of a concept recording which
could engender interest and I'll discuss it with Frank, but the issue here is funding. You know?
Producers and record companies are not nearly as willing in this day and age to take risks. They
want sure things, hot hits. And you can't blame them. I am still stunned that the revival of
"Assassins" closed so quickly- it was an amazing production. And August Wilson's play "Gem of
the Ocean"- I could name so many great plays and musicals that have either closed way too soon
or never opened at all. Even if producers really want to support something of beauty, the
reality is they have to turn a profit, and audiences are not clamoring for "art" these days-
they want fun big-scale. And who can blame them? We live in this incredibly stressful
post-911 world. What could be a better tonic for that than a night with "The Producers" (at
which I laughed more than I ever have at a show)? Speaking of which, go see Bill Finn's
"Spelling Bee"- incredibly funny and fresh and wonderful. The bright side of all this is that
there are still greatly entertaining shows out there. And some day- hopefully soon- we'll have a
climate in which the subtler/softer/sadder/scarier emotions are welcomed back into the arena.