Frank Wildhorn may be concentrating on readying The Scarlet Pimpernel for its first Broadway preview, Oct. 7, but that heroic swashbuckler isn't the only item on the composer's plate. Much as Tim Rice and Alan Menken did on King David, Wildhorn is developing an oratorio, alongside lyricist Jack Murphy. Titled The Civil War: An American Musical, the piece will draw its material from original civil war documents, Walt Whitman poetry and other correspondence of the time.
According to Gary Gunas (of PACE Theatricals), a "star-studded" concept CD is expected for Spring 1998 (postponed from this October), and Houston, TX's Alley Theatre is looking to stage the piece in fall 1998. Performers mentioned for the Atlantic Records CD include Betty Buckley, Kenny Rogers, and Dr. John.