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Saturday Night Fever

Camille Claudel

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From R.L. in Australia:
I run "Someone Like Frank" The Unofficial Frank Wildhorn Website [www.freewebs.com/frankwildhorn] and I am a big fan of his work. I recently heard some of the music from your latest collaboration "Camille Claudel" which premiered at Goodspeed in 2003. From what I've heard, it's some of the most emotional, engaging and intriguing music he's done to date, IMO. I'm also very pleased with your lyrics (btw. I love the reference to "Bat out of hell"--I'm a fan of Jim Steinman as well.)

I know Frank is always working on something ("Rudolf, The Last Kiss" in Budapest and, soon, Vienna; "Never Say Goodbye" for the Takarazuka Revue in Tokyo; "Waiting For The Moon" at the Lenape Regional Performing Arts Centre; and hopefully "Cyrano De Bergerac" in London, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" in Houston and "Carmen" in the Czech Republic).

I also know you've probably been asked this question before, but is there anything you can say about the beautiful "Camille Claudel" project? I know this happens a lot in entertainment/stage & screen (being a lyricist and writer of musical theatre myself) but it SUCH a shame that nothing seems to be happening with this one. I also know that you probably shouldn't talk about any plans that haven't been confirmed, but is there still interest in pursuing this piece? I really hope it comes to light and, in my opinion, it should have been Frank's fourth Broadway show instead of "Dracula" (which still needed a lot of work.)

Also, out of all of Frank's collaborations, it is your lyrics that I love the best. I know you did some work on the early stages of "Rudolf" but are there any plans for you and Frank to collaborate once again? I'd love to see that happen, especially on his "Alice In Wonderland" project.

I've asked other people "in the know" about this, but I was always curious to have your opinion. Thank you for listening,

Monday, 17 September 2007

Dear R.L.,

Right now there are no plans to pursue "Camille Claudel." We did have some European interest, but that has become overly complicated and I don't think it'll work out. There is also some American interest, but for down the road- several years from now. I've talked/e-mailed with 2 artistic directors of regional theatres about it. I need to do a re-write that incorporates everything I learned from the Goodspeed production. I truly do want to do this (and if I do, this would be the next project I do with Frank because it would be very different), but I am currently pretty actively involved with two plays of mine as well as my poetry, so don't look for anything soon.

As for "bat out of hell," I'm not sure I get your reference. I've always just used that phrase (as I think most people do) in regular conversation. I know I should know who Jim Steinman is (name is familiar), but I'm afraid I don't. The phrase comes from the song "Trembling Man" which Rodin sings. If you've heard the version on the demo, that version no longer exists. I re-wrote almost the entire song because I felt it was a bit over-the-top and just knew I could do better. But we had already recorded "Trembling Man" before Goodspeed- old version, not with Nouri. So I don't even remember if "bat out of hell" is still in the song. Anyway, thanks for writing and for the kind words about my lyrics.


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