Linda Eder Expected as Camille Claudel, Sculpted by Wildhorn, for Goodspeed

News   Linda Eder Expected as Camille Claudel, Sculpted by Wildhorn, for Goodspeed Camille Claudel, the Frank Wildhorn-Nan Knighton musical about the French sculptress and her relationship with Rodin, will have its first production this summer at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre in Connecticut.

Sources close to the project told Playbill On-Line Linda Eder is expected to play the title role of the new show, which has music by her husband and frequent collaborator, Wildhorn, composer of Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War. Goodspeed has not yet announced the three 2003 shows for its developmental Terris space in Chester, CT, where critics pay the rare courtesy of not reviewing productions because of their "new" nature.

A quiet tryout would likely be the first step toward the show's Broadway goal. Playbill On-Line reported in June 2002 that Camille Claudel will reach Broadway in the 2002-03 season, according to the show's director, Gabriel Barre. Clear Channel was named as producer. A run in the 2002-03 season has not materialized.

The show is about the sculptress of the same name, whose rich life included a stretch in an insane asylum and an affair with sculptor Auguste Rodin. Isabelle Adjani played the artist in a 1988 French film, "Camille Claudel."

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The artist is also the subject of another musical being developed by Connecticut composer-lyricist-librettist Lori McKelvey, who won the 2002 Kleban Award for her libretto to Camila, seen at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre in fall 2001. Her version is called M. Claudel. Several seasons ago, Wildhorn had three shows playing simultaneously on Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Civil War. All are gone now and, while many Wildhorn projects have been promised for New York, none have reached Broadway as of yet. That will perhaps change soon with the arrival of the Wildhorn-Don Black-Christopher Hampton musical Dracula, thought no specific dates or theatre have been announced.

Wildhorn and Knighton previously collaborated on Pimpernel. Eder, a beloved concert performer whose voice is often praised as Streisand-rich, starred on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde.