As reported by the New York Post, the producers of Broadway's Jekyll & Hyde were hoping to bring a bit of royalty into their sleeper-hit show: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.
Production spokesperson Rick Miramontez confirmed that, "an invitation was extended from the producers for [Sarah Ferguson] to appear in the show sometime next year in a role that would be written into the show for her. Frank Wildhorn & Leslie Bricusse wrote a special song for her, `London By Night.' This all under the assumption that she would perform in the show to benefit a charity of her choice, with the number of performances to be determined."
Why would Fergie be tapped for such a role? The Post speculates that she and J&H star Linda Eder are friends, and that, according to the Duchess' spokesperson, Howard Rubenstein, Ferguson has been interested in branching out as an actress.
But speculation on such a royal move has proved short-lived. Spokesperson Rubenstein told Playbill On-Line (Dec. 15) he'd been expecting to discuss the offer with Ferguson when she came to New York in January, but she has already declined the offer. "She hadn't been told about it," he said. "They made the e me, and I was gonna wait till she got to New York, but then the press broke the story early."
Said production spokesperson Miramontez, "London reporters have said she graciously declined the offer. But the invitation still stands." Said Rubenstein of the Duchess, "She'll listen to all kinds of offers (TV, interviewers, columnists), whatever comes to her will be given due consideration, but she's not aggressively trying to become an actress."
As for the rest of the Jekyll & Hyde cast -- including Christiane Noll, Robert Cuccioli and Eder, that will remain in place until (at least April), at which point Eder may leave to concentrate on her singing career.
In other Jekyll & Hyde news, the U.S. tour will launch sometime in the 1998-99 season. Spokesman Miramontez gave no other information, including whether the original three Broadway leads will take part in the tour. The Broadway leads have a one-year contract, to April 29.
Miramontez said (Dec. 15) details about the tour, including cities and dates, will be announced soon after the new year.
The tour will be produced by PACE Theatrical Group, the same company that produced the 1995-96 tour that helped establish Jekyll & Hyde among fans across the country.