On the evening of March 24, 2016, Linda returned to one of her favorite venues, The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The trip to Sarasota, Florida was made even sweeter because even thought it was officially Spring, it may as well have still been Winter up North.

For this particular show, Linda was especially excited to have a very special opening act… her friend and co-star from JEKYLL & HYDE, the multi-talented Robert Cuccioli.

The EDER-TORS of THE VOICE recently had the opportunity to catch up with Mr. Cuccioli. This is the second time we’ve interviewed him, the first interview being published in the December, 2011 edition of THE VOICE. At this time, we touched on many aspects of his life and career beginning with the early years and progressing up to the time that he was reunited with Linda and Christianne Noll for a special concert in New York City’s Town Hall. If you have not read this first in-depth interview, you can do so by clicking here

VOICE: The audience in Sarasota, Florida was obviously thrilled to have you and Linda together at the Van Wezel. How did it feel for you to be with her again on the same stage?

ROBERT: It felt very comfortable and like being home. Linda is a very grounded and warm human being and such a wonderful artist. It’s always such a treat to sing with her.

VOICE: You told the story in Sarasota of how difficult it was being a “Broadway singer” and trying to attack your songs from JEKYLL & HYDE. You even feared you’d be fired. Please share with our readers how Linda came to the rescue.

ROBERT: I sang rock when I was much younger in High School and College, but my professional training was in Opera and Legit Broadway. I hadn’t sung Pop/Rock in a very long time and I found that shift to be a challenge. The core of singing is always the same, but the style is quite different. I had talked with Linda about it one night. She totally understood the challenge and suggested I listen to Lou Gramm and Steve Perry, the lead singers of Foreigner and Journey, respectively. So, I did. I sang along with them as I listened to the albums and warmed up to them every evening before the shows. Eventually, I really got a grasp for the style. It was great advice!

VOICE: In your opinion, what is the reason or reasons that Linda has had and still has such a prolific recording and performing career?

ROBERT: She has a voice that is unmatched by anyone and a range, both vocally and emotionally, that is incredible. She also challenges herself with different styles and genre and I think that keeps people engaged and excited to see what she will do next. As I said before, she’s an incredible artist.

VOICE: Your projects do not always involve singing. Do you have a routine to maintain your “singing voice” during times when you are not using it on stage?

ROBERT: I vocalize every day. Even when not performing in a musical, ones voice needs to be warmed up, so I continue singing as much as I can.

VOICE: In the fall of 2015, you starred in the production of ROTHCHILD & SONS at the York Theatre at St. Peter’s Church. Please tell us a little about your role and why you obviously enjoyed being part of this production.

ROBERT: ROTHSCHILD & SONS is a “reimagining” of the classic Bock/Harnick musical THE ROTHSCHILDS, a show in which I played son Nathan in the 1991 off-Broadway revival. It is a show which has always been very dear to my heart. So when Sheldon Harnick and Jeffrey Moss (Director) asked me to play the patriarch, Mayer Rothschild in this new project I leapt at the opportunity. Mayer is a man of strong heart and conviction who used the wealth he and his family attained to try to help his people, the Jews, and all humanity rise from oppression. He is also a man who is all about family and its bonds, creating a character which is right up my alley. To work with Sherman Yellen (the original book writer) and Sheldon again, who actually wrote a new song for me, as well as Jeffrey Moss and the incredibly talented cast they assembled was indeed truly exciting. There is an Original Cast Recording being released very shortly, so keep an eye out for that. Our production was also just nominated as Best Revival of a Musical by the Off-Broadway Alliance, which is a great honor.

VOICE: You are off to a new theatrical experience in a few weeks. Can you tell our readers about this project?

ROBERT: I have been involved in a reworking of the Lerner and Lowe musical, PAINT YOUR WAGON, with the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. This is yet another “reimagining” of a well-loved classic with an entirely new book by Jon Marans. The show has had a number of readings and workshops to develop the new story and now we will have our premiere production in June at the 5th Avenue Theatre, and again in August at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul, MN. Though the show is beloved by pretty much everyone I talk to because the score is wonderful, it has never had a Broadway revival primarily because the book never really worked. I’m very excited about this production and the role I play, Ben Rumson, and look forward to its future. If any of your readers are in or near these cities, do come and see it.

Several fans of both Linda and Robert have kindly shared their impressions of this very special show at the Van Wezel.

Fans Dana and Chloe Judge with Linda
Fan Linda Carbo with Bob Cuccioli and Fans Dana and Chloe Judge
All smiles with Linda Eder!

Dana and Chloe Judge from Florida write…

I have always loved music. There is not a memory in my life to which music is not connected. When I hear an old song on the radio, I can tell you how old I was when it was a hit. I remember my favorite artists of each era; what movie a song came from; where I was when I first heard it; what I wore when I sang it; my first concerts and theatre experiences – I don’t think I’ve forgotten any. If you open ITunes on my computer or look through my collection of CD’s, or even the old cassettes I can’t throw away, and the albums that may or may not be valuable, you will find some music of almost every genre. The collection is eclectic and vast. 

I have shared that love of music with my two daughters. My first-born and I share the same taste in music. At the top of our list of most admired vocalists is the incredible Linda Eder. Recently I had the joy of sharing an experience with my daughter that we will never forget. My daughter, Chloe, my dear friend, Linda (not Eder), and I went to see Linda Eder at the Van Wezel in Sarasota, and as I expected, Linda did not disappoint. It was the fourth time I had seen her live, but it will be the one I will remember most fondly.

Robert Cuccioli opened the night. I had seen him as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde years ago, and his power and nuance were just as amazing almost 20 years later. Then came Linda. Even after having seen her perform many times, I continue to be awed by the ease with which she sings. I always catch myself trying to see her breathe.  I’ve decided that either she never has to, she is able to do it while she continues singing, or I keep getting distracted by the beauty and clarity of her voice and I miss it every time. I must admit that I did not watch as closely this time because I was enjoying the expressions on my daughter’s face as she was mesmerized by the beautiful voice she heard and the stream of songs that she had listened to a million times, but this time she was hearing them live, sitting in the second row at the feet of a singer she so admired. It would have been a special night for me, even if my daughter had been unable to attend, but because I got to see this concert through her eyes, it was unforgettable. 

The icing on the cake was the moment afterward when we had the opportunity to meet Linda and Robert and take photos. Linda must be one of the most gracious and down-to-earth performers anyone could meet. We spoke of mutual friends… and she spoke to Chloe about her son and his age, looks, height, and talent. I don’t think an arranged marriage is on the horizon, but you can’t blame two proud moms for trying. It was a wonderful concert, as I knew it would be, and I am grateful to my friend, Linda, for being the one who invited me first, which inspired me to find another ticket for Chloe. I was and will continue to be a devoted fan of Linda Eder, not only because of her unmatchable musical gift, but also because the person behind the voice is warm and kind and just truly lovely! Now, I’ll let Chloe give you the perspective of a first time Linda Eder concertgoer, but I could probably write it for her because I saw her expressions and heard the excitement as she described her favorite moments for days after...

Well, my mom really said it all. Since the age of three, I was memorizing the lyrics to Les Miserables. I've always had a bit of a different taste in music than my friends. I am most-likely the only 17 year old girl who has the Linda Eder Live CD always ready to go in the CD player of my car. I can vividly remember the first time I really listened to Linda's rendition of “Man of La Mancha” or sang along at the top of my lungs to “Don't Rain On My Parade” from her Greatest Hits album. So, needless to say, seeing Linda live has been something I've wanted to do for a very long time.

The night of, my mom and I couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces as we met up with our friend and all started naming the songs we hoped she would sing. When Robert Cuccioli opened the show, I was a bit star struck just thinking that somehow I was lucky enough to witness the original Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and the original Lucy performing together, and when Robert hinted that he would be singing a song from Les Miserables, I almost jumped out of my seat I was so excited.

When Linda performed though, as my mom said, we couldn't even tell if Linda was breathing -- and I know I wasn't. Every note, every key change, every word of every song was more beautiful than I could've imagined. From the very front row to the very last, Linda's warm and inviting personality made every single audience member feel appreciated and welcomed. When my mom, our friend Linda, and I walked out, all I could say was, “I have no words.”

At the very end of the night, I was able to meet both Robert and Linda. I am smiling as I write this just thinking about the fact that I have a photograph with two renowned stars of Broadway. As excited as I was, the night was even more than I could've wished for, and as my mom and I walked to the car, I was already planning to buy tickets to see Linda Eder again.

Fan Marilyn Jennings
with Linda

Marilyn Jennings from Florida writes…

Bravo! What a magical night! I had the pleasure of seeing Linda once again in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida at the Van Wezel, aka “The Purple Cow.” She shared the stage with Robert Cuccioli on one few number and that was a real treat. It was an evening filled with laughter, tears and inspiration. Linda’s voice is truly a rare treasure. The passion and purity in her voice was so delicate at times and yet so powerful!! She is simply fantastic! I am truly her biggest fan! My dream is to sing with her one day. I hope my dream comes true, but until then I will always look forward to seeing her when she makes her way down south. Thank you Linda for a wonderful evening!


Fans loved spending time with Linda and Bob after the show! Here's just a few candid moments from the evening (thanks, Trish Burns, for these great shots!)...


Fan Trish Burns, guest Photographer for THE VOICE,
Linda and Fan Gerry Cardwell