Though their one-year contracts expire Apr. 29, all three leads in Broadway's Jekyll & Hyde have signed extensions and will stay with the show at least a few months longer. (J & H opened Apr. 28, 1997 at the Plymouth Theatre.)
Cuccioli's spokesperson, Judy Katz, said the star will stay with J&H through Jan. 3, 1999. Production spokesperson Rick Miramontez told Playbill On-Line (Mar. 19) Christiane Noll and alternate Jekyll/Hyde Robert Evan would also stay through that date. Linda Eder will remain until Labor Day but take three weeks off in May to wed the show's composer, Frank Wildhorn (May 3). During that time, Leah Hocking will do the evening performances, Jodi Stevens the matinees. Hocking currently plays Kate and is Eder's official understudy. Previous credits include Forbidden Broadway and Grease!. Stevens appeared in Barry Manilow's Harmony at CA's La Jolla Playhouse and Off Broadway in Bodyshop and Cardenio.
As the one-year anniversary of Jekyll & Hyde nears, PACE Theatricals has changed the show's marketing campaign and look. The dripping blood letters "Jekyll & Hyde" remain, only now they're placed against a soft-focus backdrop of Cuccioli's breathing menacingly (and sensually?) against the side of Eder's neck. Serino Coyne, which designed the first campaign, also did the second.
Asked about the design choice, PACE president Scott Zeiger told Playbill On Line (Mar. 19), "We wanted to reinvent ourselves from a marketing perspective. A show's logo can get stale if it's not reinvented and reawakened. We wanted to spin it to a younger, hipper demographic. It's startling and sexy and attention-grabbing. We're here to stay; we want that to resonate, and we're adapting all our ads, window cars, subway posters to this new look."
In other Jekyll & Hyde news, the hit Broadway musical is booking a U.S. tour to launch sometime in the 1998-99 season. The national tour will launch at a Seattle theatre TBA in March 1999, but no specific dates nor other towns are ready to be announced, according to another production spokesman at PACE Theatrical Group, the same company that produced the 1995-96 tour that helped establish Jekyll & Hyde among fans across the country. The PACE spokesman also said it's unlikely that the original Broadway leads, Linda Eder, Robert Cuccioli and Christiane Noll will take part in the tour, but said the cast has not yet been finalized.
A major party is being planned for the show's second year on Broadway, at which time, the production spokesperson says, the tour itinerary will be announced. Spokesperson Miramontez (of the Kornberg office) notes that 100 "Jekkies" will come to New York this weekend (Apr. 24-26) to see the show again and share a Sunday brunch at the Broadway Grill restaurant.