With several projects underway, Frank Wildhorn tells Playbill On-Line that Havana, Dracula and The Romantics, a new project based on several historic couples, are planned for the composer's production schedule for the next few years.
Wildhorn plans to unveil Dracula in 2001. This will be followed by Havana, which has been pushed back to 2002, and Bonnie and Clyde in 2003. The latter is one of the "franchise" break-outs from the The Romantics anthology musical project currently in development.
Details on these projects are expected soon, the composer of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jekyll and Hyde and The Civil War said. For now, Wildhorn continues work producing a Christmas album with his wife, singer Linda Eder.
As reported earlier, The Romantics 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." Some of these, including Svengali and Bonnie and Clyde, have already been mentioned for development as franchise properties. Each segment features 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 theatre 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.
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."
-- By Murdoch McBride