Jekyll & Hyde Celebrates Third Anniversary on Bway, April 28
By Robert Simonson
Jekyll & Hyde, the Broadway musical based on the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novel, celebrates its third anniversary on Broadway April 28. The show opened at the Plymouth Theatre on April 28, 1997, with a cast of Robert Cuccioli, Linda Eder and Christiane Noll. The musical got a new injection of life Jan. 25, 2000 when rocker and soap star Jack Wagner, a heartthrob on TV's "Melrose Place" and "General Hospital," joined the company in the title roles.
Also new to the gruesome tuner by composer Frank Wildhorn and librettist Leslie Bricusse is Andrea 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.
They replaced Robert Evan, Anastasia Barzee and Luba Mason, respectively, who played their last performances Jan. 23. It was announced April 28 that rock singer Sebastian Bach would join the show in the title roles June 13, and that Wagner's final performance would be June 9 or 11. The national tour, out for about a year now, ends April 30 at Jones Hall in Houston. Chuck Wagner stars with Kelli O'Hara as Emma and Deb Lyons and Becca Ayres (alternating in the role of Lucy).
Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998, recently joined the ensemble and understudies Lucy.
Wagner 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."
The musical opened after years of regional development, tours and record releases. Business for the dark show has been bolstered by a legion of fans who have been called "Jekkies."
A revised national tour is currently on the road, a German staging is a hit, and a London version is in the works.
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.
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