Jekyll & Hyde Going Strong Despite Cast Changes

News   Jekyll & Hyde Going Strong Despite Cast Changes
 
Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde, a Broadway crowd-pleaser since its opening April 28, is losing two supporting players to other musicals: Jodi Stevens to Barry Manilow's Harmony (in L.A.), and Emily Skinner to Side Show.

Robert Cuccioli

Robert Cuccioli

Photo by Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde, a Broadway crowd-pleaser since its opening April 28, is losing two supporting players to other musicals: Jodi Stevens to Barry Manilow's Harmony (in L.A.), and Emily Skinner to Side Show.

Both actresses played various roles in J&H, from Housemaids to Nurses to Bridesmaids. Kay Story, making her Broadway debut, has stepped in for Stevens; Skinner has been replaced by Corinne Melancon. Recently added as a swing was Carmen Yurich (a man).

Still bringing star-power to the musical are leads Robert Cuccioli, Linda Eder and Christiane Noll, joined by George Merritt and Barrie Ingham. (Robert Evan plays the dynamic duo on matinees).

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Gary Gunas, executive vice president of PACE Theatrical Group, is a co producer of the show. At the J&H CD release party, Gunas got a rousing bit of applause from the cast and crew when he referred to J&H as "the little musical that could, or in our case, the big, noisy engine that could." He announced plans for a national tour of the Broadway production for the 1998-99 season that would begin in October, 1998. J&H has toured extensively since its second Houston production at Theatre Under the Stars in January, 1995. J&H's world premiere was also in Houston, in May, 1990, at the Alley Theatre. Discussions are underway, Gunas said, with potential producting partners for a London production in 1998.

Martha Ashton, a rson for Wildhorn, told Playbill On-Line, there are several independent overseas productions in Jekyll's future. The first production abroad will open in Antwerp, Belgium Sept. 18, 1997 at the Royal Ballet of Flanders Theatre, where Linda LePomme is artistic director. J&H will open in Melbourne, Australia Oct. 25, 1997 at Her Majesty's Theatre, produced by Stewart and Patricia Macpherson.

Aston reported that in the winter or spring, 1998, J&H would open in Bremen, Germany iin a new theatre, specially constructed for the production by Neue Metropol Lizenzen und Projekte. The producers are Frank Buecheler and Lutz Jarosch. Further into 1998, the musical will open in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

, which features music by Wildhorn, who's currently at work on The Scarlet Pimpernel, which opens in the fall at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre.

Peter Galvin, vice president of product development for Atlantic Records, reported that since the debut of the J&H cast CD, July 15, in excess of 5,000 copies have been sold in New York City outlets. He noted that Eder's high profile with media appearances in support of her Atlantic solo album, "It's Time," and her New York City concert debut July 17 at the Supper Club boosted sales.

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