It all comes together for composer Frank Wildhorn March 24 when cast members of his three current Broadway shows -- The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jekyll & Hyde and The Civil War -- serenade him at a gathering celebrating his historic trio of musicals now on Broadway.
"Jekkies," "Pimpies" and "Civvies" -- the loyal fans of his respective shows -- are invited to the St James Theatre 5:15 PM March 24 to hear 95 performers sing a revised lyric to "This is the Moment," his anthem from Jekyll & Hyde.
An American composer hasn't had three Broadway shows on at the same time since 1976, when Stephen Schwartz was Broadway's man of the moment.
Douglas Sills, the Pimpernel himself, will host the 96-performer event, with appearances by Rocco Landesman, James Nederlander and Gerald Schoenfeld, theatre owners of the three houses where Wildhorn's works are playing.
Seating for the half-hour presentation is general admission, first-come, first-served and limited to 1,000 guests. The St. James is at 246 W. 44th Street. *
The St. James, restored to its 1927 splendor over the past several months, relights a day before the event, on March 23, for the first preview of The Civil War, subtitled Our Story in Song.
Wildhorn's Broadway threesome is a phenomenon few predicted 10 years ago when the pop-influenced writer worked to get the gruesome, gothic Jekyll & Hyde (with lyricist Leslie Bricusse) heard in concept album and regional theatre form.
The last time an American composer had three shows on Broadway at once was 1976, when Stephen Schwartz was represented by The Magic Show, Pippin and Godspell. Jerry Herman had that honor in 1969 when his Dear World, Hello, Dolly! and Mame were playing. And before that, in 1953, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Me and Juliet, The King and I and South Pacific were concurrent.
Having three shows on Broadway simultaneously is a walk in the park for Britain's Andrew Lloyd Webber: At various times in the past 20 years Cats, Aspects of Love and Evita ran at the same time, as did the trios of Evita, Cats and 1982's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Sunset Boulevard, Phantom of the Opera and Cats.
A newly conceived and directed Broadway national tour of Jekyll & Hyde begins in Wallingford, CT., April 13-18 (considered a preview week) and officially "opens" at Detroit's Fisher Theatre April 21-May 1. The previous Jekyll tour was the pre-Broadway staging, last seen around the country in 1996.
Joining the previously-announced Chuck Wagner, who takes the title role, are Sharon Brown as Lucy Harris and Andrea Rivette as Emma Carew.
After Detroit, the announced tour dates through May 2000 are:
April 13-18 Wallingford, CT
April 21-May 9 Detroit Fisher Theatre
May 11-16: Minneapolis Orpheum Theatre
May 18-30: Dallas Music Hall
June 1-13: Tulsa Performing Arts Center
June 15-20: Memphis Orpheum Theatre
June 22-27: Providence, RI, Performing Arts Center
June 29-July 4: Grand Rapids, MI, Devos Hall
July 6-11: TBA
July 20-Aug. 1: Seattle Paramount Theatre.
Aug. 10-29: San Francisco Golden Gate Theatre
Aug. 31-Sept. 5: San Diego Civic Center
Sept. 7-19: Los Angeles Pantages Theatre
Sept. 21-26: St. Louis Fox Theatre
Sept. 28-Oct. 3: Boston, Wang Center
Oct. 5-10: Charlotte, NC, Ovens Auditorium
Oct. 12-17: New Orleans, Saenger Theatre
Oct. 20-24: Ottawa, ON, National Arts Centre
Oct. 16-31: Baltimore Mechanic Theatre
Nov. 2-7: Philadelphia Merriam Theatre
Nov. 9-14: Atlanta Fox Theatre
Nov. 16-22: TBA
Nov. 23-28: Des Moines Civic Center
Nov. 30-Dec. 5: TBA
Dec. 7-19: TBA
Dec. 21-26: Miami Jackie Gleason Theatre
Dec. 28-Jan. 2, 2000: TBA
Jan. 4-16: Ft. Lauderdale Broward Performing Arts Center
Jan. 18-23: Tampa Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
Jan. 25-30: Austin University of Texas
Feb. 15-20: TBA
Feb. 22-27: Portland, OR, Civic Center Theatre
Feb. 29-Mar. 5: Denver Buell Auditorium
March 7-12: Kalamazoo, MI, Miller Auditorium
March 14-19: East Lansing, MI, Wharton Center
March 21-26: Newark New Jersey Performing Arts Center
March 28-Apr. 9: Chicago Palace Theatre
April 11-16: Buffalo Shea's
April 18-23: Raleigh, NC, Civic Center
April 25-30: Houston Jones Hall
May 2-7, 2000: San Antonio Majestic Hall