Robert Evan, Anastasia Barzee and Luba Mason end their run in the Broadway musical, Jekyll & Hyde, Jan. 23, to be replaced Jan. 25 by soap star Jack Wagner, Andrea Rivette and Coleen Sexton.
Cast member George Merritt told Playbill On-Line that a special tribute to Evan is planned for the curtain call after the matinee performance Jan. 23.
Devoted fans of the gruesome and romantic musical (mavens are known as "Jekkies") have sent messages to Evan on a fan website that also links them to Evan's favorite charity, Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to ill children.
"This is an extraordinary man and talent who gives 200 percent every night," said Merritt. "The cast and I wanted to do something very special to let Rob know how much he is loved and appreciated, not only by his fans, but by all of us as well."
Fans have posted messages at http://thankyourob.cjb.net and the messages are being put into an album which will be presented to Evan at the final show, Merritt said. "A representative from Make-A-Wish Foundation will be at the show on Jan. 23," Merritt said. "At the curtain call, they will present Rob with a special award from the Make-A-Wish Kids for his charitable efforts in their behalf."
Evan succeeded Tony Award nominee Robert Cuccioli in the title role(s) of the musical thriller by lyricist-librettist Leslie Bricusse and composer Frank Wildhorn. At the Plymouth Theatre, Barzee and Mason play good girl, Emma Carew, and hooker-with-the-heart-of-gold, Lucy, respectively.
The musical opened on Broadway April 28, 1997, after years of regional development, tours and record releases. Business for the dark show, drawn from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, has been bolstered by a legion of fans. A revised national tour is currently on the road.
Lauded classics director Robin Phillips (an alum of Canada's Stratford Festival) has director credit for Broadway's Jekyll & Hyde.
The show was conceived for the stage by Steve Cuden and Wildhorn and developed by Alley Theatre in Houston, where Gregory Boyd directed, and 5th Avenue Musical Theatre and Theatre Under the Stars.
The musical about an infamous injection will get a new injection of life Jan. 25 when rocker and soap star Wagner, a heartthrob on TV's "Melrose Place" and "General Hospital," joins the company in the title roles.
Also new are Rivette as sweet Emma Carew and Coleen Sexton as saucy prostitute (or "nightclub singer" as she's called in a statement), Lucy. Rivette is fresh from the national tour of J&H, and Sexton is in the current Broadway ensemble of J&H.
Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998, recently joined the ensemble and understudies Lucy.
Wagner, expected to lure his loyal TV fans to the legit stage, appeared as Dr. Peter Burns on "Melrose Place" and as Frisco Jones on "General Hospital." His credits include regional theatre and national tours, and a hit single, "All I Need."
For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.