Nederlander Presentations, Inc.’s Broadway-bound production of Jekyll & Hyde, starring Constantine Maroulis as the kindly Dr. Henry Jekyll and his murderous alter ego Mr. Edward Hyde and Deborah Cox as Red Rat songstress/prostitute Lucy Harris, whom Jekyll befriends and Hyde torments, will play eight performances on Jan. 8-13 in the 2,700-seat, state-of-the-art Durham Performing Arts Center in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham, NC. Jeff Calhoun (Bonnie & Clyde and Disney’s Newsies) will direct and choreograph this 25-week fourth national tour of Jekyll & Hyde, which commenced on Oct. 2, 2012 at the Civic Theatre in San Diego, CA.
A finalist on season four (2005) of “American Idol,” 37-year-old Constantine Maroulis earned a 2009 Tony Award® nomination for Best Actor for his performance as Hollywood nightclub busboy and aspiring rocker Drew Boley in the 1980s jukebox musical Rock of Ages. Canadian singer and songwriter Deborah Cox is a 38-year-old multi-platinum rhythm-and-blues recording artist and Grammy Award® nominee.
“We’re very excited about being on this tour,” says Laird Mackintosh, who plays Dr. Henry Jekyll’s best friend and attorney John Utterson, “but we’re also very excited about opening this show on Broadway in April.”
Originally conceived for the stage by Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cuden in 1980, Jekyll & Hyde is a sublimely suspenseful Broadway musical tragedy based on the famous 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Scottish novelist and travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94). The musical features bracing music by Frank Wildhorn and riveting book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.
Laird Mackintosh notes, “In the novel, John Utterson is the narrator of the story. In the musical, they have a different format. The story is told without narration.”
The 34-year-old Canadian actor adds, “I got the role of Utterson in the classic way of going in and doing a bunch of auditions in New York…. I auditioned specifically for the part of Utterson. My preparation for the audition was not so much research on the character, but studying the scenes that Utterson was in…. In an ideal world, you try to have the role memorized, so that you can do the audition off book.”
In addition to Constantine Maroulis as Jekyll/Hyde, Deborah Cox as Lucy, and Laird Mackintosh as Utterson, the current Jekyll & Hyde tour cast includes Teal Wicks as Dr. Jekyll’s fiancée Emma Carew, Richard White as Emma’s father and St. Jude’s Hospital chairman of the board Sir Danvers Carew, David Benoit as the Bishop of Basingstoke and Red Rat boss and Lucy’s pimp Spider, Jerry Christakos as Bisset and a Minister, Dana Costello as the Red Rat’s German manageress Nellie, Brian Gallagher as Lord Theodore “Teddy” Savage, Mel Johnson Jr. as Sir Archibald “Archie” Proops, James Judy as Jekyll’s Father, Aaron Ramey as General Lord Glossop, Blair Ross as Lady Elizabeth “Bessie” Beaconsfield, and Jason Wooten as St. Jude’s Hospital secretary Simon Stride.
The ensemble includes Wendy Fox, Sean Jenness, Ashley Loren, Courtney Markowitz, Emmy Raver-Lampman, and Doug Storm. Swings include Stephen Mitchell Brown, fight captain Rob Richardson, and dance captain Haley Swindal.
Besides director and choreographer Jeff Calhoun, the creative team for the fourth national tour of Jekyll & Hyde includes scenic and costume designer Tobin Ost, lighting designer Jeff Croiter, sound designer Ken Travis, and projection designer Daniel Brodie. The production also features orchestrations by Kim Scharnberg and musical supervision and arrangements by Jason Howland.
Jekyll & Hyde was first staged in 1990 at the Alley Theatre in Houston, under the direction former PlayMakers Repertory Company member Gregory Boyd. Afterwards, Jekyll & Hyde toured 28 cities before making its Broadway debut on April 28, 1997 at the Plymouth Theatre, where it ran for 1,543 performances and earned four 1997 Tony Award® nominations, including a nomination for Best Book of a Musical.
Laird Mackintosh, who plays John Utterson in Jekyll & Hyde, says that he started out his show-business career training to be a ballet dancer, and joined the National Ballet of Canada in the early 1990s.
Then, one day, he says, “I just quit impetuously, because I wanted to study acting and singing…. Having a ballet background benefits me as a performer, and it does to this day in musical theater, whether I am tap-dancing or performing the more traditional musical-theater dances.”
After he was cast in Jekyll & Hyde, Mackintosh says, he finally got around to reading Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (there is no “the” in the title). But he claims, “The best material that I used to prepare [to play John Utterson] was the script, because that’s what the audience gets to see….”
Mackintosh notes, “There have been literally hundreds of versions of this story in plays and movies in different languages. But what all of these productions have in common is Man’s Duality. That’s what’s made [Jekyll & Hyde] last so long.”
He adds, “I think we are often cast because of what we are in real life…. Often aspects of our own personality get completely hidden, and we can do things on stage that we could never do in real life….
“You do draw on your inner feelings and emotions [to play a role],” claims Laird Mackintosh. “Your real self is all you have to bring to your character.”
Mackintosh says, “We are definitely thinking of this production of Jekyll & Hyde as a revival and not a remount of the production that was on Broadway a couple of years ago. The director and the designers have completely reimagined the show as a Steampunk musical. It has a combination of Steampunk and Victorian design, but it also has a contemporary edginess and sexiness. It’s a thrill ride type of design.”
He notes, “We’re a younger cast, and the show has been streamlined. It’s not you grandmother’s Jekyll & Hyde. It’s a completely new production. That said, it has all the music that everyone knows from the beautiful Frank Wildhorn score — all those beautiful, beautiful songs — plus, the show is very accessible and wonderfully entertaining.”
SECOND OPINION: Jan. 3rd Durham, NC Herald-Sun preview by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/lifestyles/x1898435923/Constantine-Maroulis-is-Jekyll-Hyde (Note: You have to register to read this article); Jan. 2nd Durham, NC Independent Weekly mini-preview by Zack Smith: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/jekyll-and-hyde-the-musical/Event?oid=3154749; Dec. 20th Raleigh, NC BroadwayWorld.com Raleigh interview with Constantine Maroulis, conducted by David Clarke: http://raleigh.broadwayworld.com/article/BWW-Interviews-Constantine-Maroulis-Gives-Inside-Scoop-on-JEKYLL-HYDE-20121220 and Dec. 20th interview with Maroulis and Deborah Cox, conducted by Audra Stafford: http://raleigh.broadwayworld.com/article/BWW-TV-Exclusive-Interviews-with-Maroulis-Cox-Behind-the-Scenes-and-More-of-JEKYLL-HYDE-20121220; and Sept. 21st Playbill.com preview by Sheryl Flatow: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/170213-Constantine-Maroulis-Takes-the-Two-Faces-of-Jekyll-and-Hyde-on-the-Road.
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents JEKYLL & HYDE, starring Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox, at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8-10, 8 p.m. Jan. 11, 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 12, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at DPAC, in the American Tobacco District, at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.
TICKETS: $42.50-$111.00 (including fees), except $17.50 Student Rush Tickets (plus service fee if purchased online), located on Row P of the Balcony.
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), email@example.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/how_to_buy_tickets.
Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/803916.
GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/group_services.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://www.jekyllandhydemusical.com/video/.
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (book): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strange_Case_of_Dr_Jekyll_and_Mr_Hyde (Wikipedia).
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (e-text): http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42 (Project Gutenberg).
Robert Louis Stevenson: http://www.robert-louis-stevenson.org/ (Edinburgh University) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Louis_Stevenson (Wikipedia).
Jekyll & Hyde (musical): http://www.jekyll-hyde.com/ (official website), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jekyll_&_Hyde_(musical) (Wikipedia), and http://www.ibdb.com/show.asp?ID=4863 (Internet Broadway Database).
Frank Wildhorn: http://www.frankwildhorn.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Wildhorn (Wikipedia).
Leslie Bricusse: http://www.lesliebricusse.com/index.php (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Bricusse (Wikipedia).
The Tour: http://www.jekyllandhydemusical.com/ (official website).
The Tour Cast: http://www.jekyllandhydemusical.com/company/cast/ (official web page).
The Tour Creative Team: http://www.jekyllandhydemusical.com/company/creative/ (official web page).
Nederlander Presentations, Inc.: http://www.nederlander.com/ (official website).
Jeff Calhoun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Calhoun_(choreographer) (Wikipedia).
Constantine Maroulis: http://www.constantinemaroulis.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_Maroulis (Wikipedia).
Deborah Cox: http://www.deborahcox.com/home/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_Cox (Wikipedia).
Laird Mackintosh: http://www.lairdmackintosh.com/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laird_Mackintosh_(actor) (Wikipedia).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Review, a FREE weekly e-mail arts newsletter. This article is reprinted with permission from Triangle Review.
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