Cliff composed original music for, and performed in, the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Folger Theatre production of The Taming of the Shrew, in Washington, D.C. The show, which was set in the American frontier of the 1800s, was directed by Helen Hayes award winner Aaron Posner, and the reviews were outstanding.
The shows director cites Cliff among his inspirations for the show: "So we have this unique Shrew, influenced and inspired by Deadwood. Of course, it is influenced and inspired by many other things as well, most particularly the amazing music of singer/songwriter Cliff Eberhardt, who is composing original music and performing in a role we call The Blind Balladeer.”
The show, and particularly Cliff's performance and music, received critical acclaim.
"Cliff Eberhardt’s musical performance as the Blind Balladeer stole the whole production and was absolutely perfect."
"Eberhardt’s musical compositions and acoustical guitar playing are delicious in their own right. There’s something both clever and soulful in his songwriting...His gravelly voice on the low end also expresses a rich sweetness, as if Tom Waits melded with Ritchie Havens."
"The loves, losses and internal struggles playing out on stage are underscored to great effect by Eberhardt’s music and performance, which is something like Tom Waits meeting Willie Nelson by way of Bob Dylan. In short, the music alone is worth the price of admission."
"Cliff Eberhardt is not only a gifted guitar and piano player, he also has a gruff but soft voice that just holds onto to you. As the "Blind Balladeer," his songs offer insight or comic relief or just provide warmth to an already poignant scene. His gentle accompaniment during a pivotal scene between Petruchio and Kate makes this moment truly heartfelt. "
"Another unforgettable artistic decision is the show’s ability to underscore textual sentiments through live, original music by the incredible Cliff Eberhardt. Eberhardt, who composed the songs, acts as the “Blind Balladeer” throughout the show. Part busker, part prophet, he continually helps draw the audience’s attention to the humanity inside each scene. The music is smart and sad, providing insight and wisdom that seems to only enhance the complex world of The Taming of the Shrew." You can listen to snippets of some of Eberhardt’s songs from the show here: Someone Like You
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