Frank Wildhorn Gets Romantic: Plans Include Records, TV Special, Theatre Franchise

News   Frank Wildhorn Gets Romantic: Plans Include Records, TV Special, Theatre Franchise Frank Wildhorn, who is currently producing a Christmas album with his wife, singer Linda Eder, will soon be undertaking the development of a multi-level franchise, The Romantics.

Frank Wildhorn, who is currently producing a Christmas album with his wife, singer Linda Eder, will soon be undertaking the development of a multi-level franchise, The Romantics.

The new Wildhorn project is described by the composer as "a multi layered musical/theatrical project that encompasses the staggered release of a series of recordings (The Romantics, Volume 1, 2, 3, etc.), a televised concert special, and a live theatrical concert tour."

Based on theatrical and dramatic moments from the real lives of both famous literary and historical couples, The Romantics will comprise several 12-15 minute "mini musicals."

In each segment, there will be a three-part format, with the female lead having her moment, the male lead his, and then a shared moment featuring both.

Volume One of the initial recorded version of the project will be released on Valentines Day 2001. This first release will feature five of the total number of couples, based on a selection to be determined by Atlantic Records. Production notes indicate that Wildhorn plans the recordings to "revolve around Linda Eder playing the various female roles and...to surround her with my favorite male theater singers, Anthony Warlow, Michael Ball, and other potential 'guest' artists."

Among the possible scenarios being discussed, Wildhorn's office says, are an eventual concert tour featuring Eder and a televised concert special. The project also has international implications, as it can be franchised out around the world.

Wildhorn plans another "hook" for the project, whereby he will be writing each segment with a different major lyricist.

The lyricists already committed to Romantics include: Maury Yeston (Nine, Grand Hotel, Titanic) for the segment "Adam & Eve"; Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin) for the segment "Anna Karenina"; David Zippel (City of Angels, Disney's "Hercules") for the segment "Anthony and Cleopatra"; Don Black (Sunset Boulevard, Aspects of Love, Song and Dance) for the segment "Bonnie and Clyde"; Nan Knighton (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Saturday Night Fever) for the segment "Camille Claudel and Rodin"; Leslie Bricusse (Jekyll and Hyde, Victor/Victoria) for the segment "Cyrano"; Jack Murphy (The Civil War, Havana) for the segment "F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda"; Gregory Boyd for the segment "Svengali"; Robin Lerner for the segment "Heloise and Abelard," Jim Steinman for the segment "Ladyhawke."

One or more of the mini-musicals in The Romantics may already be under consideration as stand alone Broadway projects.

-- By Murdoch McBride