Just a couple of seasons ago, composer Frank Wildhorn had three musicals playing on Broadway at the same time: The Civil War, The Scarlet Pimpernel and the long-running Jekyll and Hyde. Since then, the Street hasn't heard much from him, but that will change next season with the arrival of Dracula.
New York certainly hasn't forgotten the composer in the interim, as two upclose and personal concerts devoted to, and featuring, the tunemeister Feb. 25 and March 4, have already sold out the 200-seat cabaret venue Upstairs at 54 (recent home for the Kinsey Sicks' Dragapella) at $95 a pop. When the venue's regular seating sold out, extra general-admission seats in the rear orchestra were added at $60 each, and those sold out as well. For information call (212) 206-1515.
Producer Clemmons, of Riot Entertainment (which gave Off-Broadway the cult-hit Bat Boy), says he hopes "An Intimate Evening with Frank Wildhorn and Friends" will be the first in a concert series called "The Dark Night Series," wherein worthy musical theatre songwriters are celebrated with intimate retrospectives at various cozy venues.
Performing at the two Wildhorn concerts are such veterans of his work as his wife, Linda Eder, Rob Evan and Christiane Noll (all vets of Jekyll and Hyde) and The Civil War's Michael Lanning. Douglas Sills, The Scarlet Pimpernel himself, has recently been added to the roster.
Wildhorn will accompany the singers at the piano and also talk about the songs and their origins. "These are songs from all of Frank's shows," producer Clemmons told PBOL. "Plus new material. And the stars will often be singing songs they made famous on Broadway." Jeremy Roberts, Linda Eder's music director, will serve as music director for the evenings, with Vincent Paul Boyle directing the concert as a whole. There are no plans to record the Wildhorn concerts at this time. For information on "An Intimate Evening with Frank Wildhorn and Friends" at Upstairs at 54 call Smarttix at (212) 206-1515.
— By David Lefkowitz