It was the best of times, it was the worst...Perhaps it's best not to finish the most famous quotation of Charles Dickens' classic novel, "A Tale of Two Cities" in conjunction with an evening of theatre.
Better simply to note that a new musical version of the Dickens story, starring Jekyll & Hyde's Rob Evan and Christiane Noll, will be read June 8 at the Nyack Seaport Center with Scott Schwartz (Jane Eyre, Bat Boy The Musical) directing.
In A Tale of Two Cities, the oft-drunk lawyer Sydney Carton falls into unrequited love with the beautiful French woman, Lucie Manette, only to discover that she is already falling for another, the young aristocrat Charles Darnay. Carton loses her to Darnay, who marries Lucie and has a child with her. When the French Revolution, in the form of the manic Madame Defarge and her knitting needles, comes for the Darnay family, Carton realizes he holds the key to Charles -- and Lucie's -- survival, even though it will cost him his own.
A Tale of Two Cities has music and lyrics by Jill Santoriello. First performed by Leo Burmester, Michael Maguire and Ann Crumb in an Indianapolis concert, the musical has since been recorded in concept stage with Noll, J. Mark McVey and Peter Samuel.
Evan starred as the title role in Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde. Other credits include Jean Valjean in the national tour of Les Miserables and productions of Hot Mikado, Hello, Dolly!, Jesus Christ Superstar and Brigadoon. Noll is best known for portraying Jekyll/Hyde's fiancee, Emma Carew, but most recently appeared on Broadway singing "Fever" in It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues. Other credits include Kean and Little By Little at the York Theatre and The Student Prince at the Papermill Playhouse.
Also featured in the cast are Natatlie Toro (Evita), Rymond Jaramillo McLeod (Wonderful Town, Evita), Alex Santoriello (Chess, Les Miserables), Allen Fitzpatrick (Sunset Boulevard, The Scarlet Pimpernel), Rita Harvey (The Phantom of the Opera) and Craig Bennett (Ragtime, Les Miserables. Filling out the ensemble are Bob Duffy, Jeff Perrine, Mark Aldrich, Darren Dooley, Charles Bergell, Rod Weber, Melanie Mariko Tojio, Sala Iwamatsu, Jane Brockman, Dana Sides, Donna Karanous, Grace Peters, Debra Selleck, Renee Scott, Colleen Martin, Lindsey Lofaso, Thomas Foster, Jed Abrahams, Jake Alrich, Barrett Foa, Heather Mieko, Adriene Daigneault, Madeline Dougherty, Adel Magnolia, Audrey Klinger, and Gannon McHale.
Tickets are $35. The Nyack Seaport Cultural Center is located at 21 Burd Street. For tickets, call (914) 353-3200.
-- By Christine Ehren