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Friday, July 19, 2013

Frank Wildhorn

In 1997 I saw a preview of Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway and was thrilled. Finally a truly American composer with a contemporary and popular style had entered the scene. For a long time Andrew Lloyd Webber had had no counterpart in the U.S.. Most musical composers in New York tried to walk in the shoes of Sondheim or please the critics by using the old swing music formulas of the 40's and 50's. Their work was mostly respected and occasionally even successful on Broadway, but internationally none could compete with ALW's blockbusters. Frank was the first one to leave the trodden path of Broadway behind. Clearly influenced by the pop music of the eighties, he wasn't ashamed to write ballads with the potential to hit the charts. The critics hated him for that, of course, but audiences all over the world keep flocking to his musicals. Not all of the shows Frank has written so far have been commercial hits, but all of them prove his extraordinary talent. Someday he will amaze the world with a work that will give him the recognition he deserves.

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