Friday, July 21, 2006

At Long Last, Is Linda Eder Finally Broadway-Bound Once More?

At Long Last, Is Linda Eder Finally Broadway-Bound Once More?

With the exception of two separate Holiday concert stints in 2001 and 2004, Broadway's most exquisite singing voice since Barbra Streisand may very well be on track to return to the Great White Way for the first time since her only acting role as Lucy in 1997's Jekyll & Hyde musical. Eder will star in a reading of the first act of a completely original tuner, The Seduction of Sheila Valentine by Jack Murphy (Swing! and Civil War) and Vincent Marini. The reading will take place at 8:00 pm, Saturday, August 19 at the Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center in Marlton, New Jersey.

While stunningly shut out of the Tony nominations for her Jekyll & Hyde turn, Eder received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Musical and won a 1997 Theatre World Award. Although Eder has widely toured in concert throughout the country (and I loved all three performances I caught), sadly, she has not been back on Broadway where she belongs. In fact, Eder fans were apoplectic when Camille Claudel -- her last musical that was supposed to land her on Broadway -- fizzled in 2003 after its only staging at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Connecticut. Not long after that, she separated from husband Frank Wildhorn, who had written both Jekyll & Hyde and Camille Claudel.

Fast forward to the summer of 2006 and The Seduction of Sheila Valentine: Eder will portray one of two once-famous actresses approaching middle age "who find themselves too 'seasoned' to play the young romantic leads and too vain to play anyone else" and end up performing in a knock-off of Oklahoma called "My Oh My Oh Iowa."

While the second act isn't ready for this musical, Eder's second act on the Great White Way is long overdue. I'm hoping this materializes into something special for the Minnesota native.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

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At 22 July, 2006, Blogger StephenMosher said...

I'll tell you something.

I was not a fan of Jekyll and Hyde. I did not buy into the pre-Broadway brouhaha because my spouse saw the show YEARS earlier in Houston at (I think) The Alley and said it was abominable. He being an educated theater-goer, I took his word for it. When the show did, finally, roll into New York after years of working it around the country and changing it to make it just right, we went to see it.

And it was thrilling.

No. I don't like all the songs. I especially did not like George Merritt (I am working from memory, here--was that his name?) I thought Bob Cuccioli gave new meaning to phrase 'hair acting' and his bow at the curtain call remains the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen on any stage.


The sets, the lights, they were exciting, even as they reminded me of a Madonna concert. And that man could SING (not to mention that amazing chest--ok, say it, I'm base); I fell in love with Christianne Noll.

As for Linda Eder--people busted her chops publically for not being a great actress. I have listened, for years, to the repeated harangues about the fact that she just got the gig cause of her relationship with Frank Wildhorn. I gotta tell you: horse hockey.

The woman was a lovely actress, beautiful to look at, going out there and doing her job eight times a week. And when she stepped on the stage, alone, to sing songs like A NEW LIFE and SOMEONE LIKE YOU, it made you shiver inside and out. She is thrilling.

Sidebar: she is one of the nicest people with whom I have ever worked and she is devoted to her fans. I cannot wait to have her back on Broadway and I always wish her well. People should get off her back and get on the bandwagon.

At 22 July, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I am most decidedly on the Linda Eder bandwagon! Maybe now that she's moving forward without Frank Wildhorn, we'll see her grow in a new way.

You were indeed correct on each of the other key players; George Merritt once received a Drama Desk nomination in 1998 for "Lost in the Stars" but he hasn't been back on Broadway since "Jekyll & Hyde."


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