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7.2 Musical: Jekyll And Hyde [RC]




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This article is from the Theatre FAQ, by aku@leland.Stanford.EDU (Andrew Chia-Tso Ku) with numerous contributions by others.

7.2 Musical: Jekyll And Hyde [RC]

The show began as a concept album (on the BMG label), really a pop
album showing the type of songs that might be used. It was never
intended to be staged in that form, and there were only 2 singers on
the album: Linda Eder and Colm Wilkinson. Linda Eder was a newcomer
at the time. Her only previous experience was being a grand prize
winner on "Star Search". You can probably still find copies of the
album around.

The first staging, at the Alley Theatre in Houston in 1990, had lots
of new songs, and a large cast. Jekyll was played by Chuck Wagner (he
was one of the princes in _Into the Woods_, and is currently
understudy for the Beast in the Broadway _Beauty and the Beast_.)
Eder played one of two major female roles, a prostitute named Lucy. It
was very well received, but no one thought it was ready for Broadway.

They planned a New York staging in 1992, and it was workshopped there,
with Terrance Mann playing Jekyll, and lots of new songs and changes
to the book, but it was not staged.

The Alley and TUTS are co-producing a new version in the 94-95 season,
with more new songs, more book changes, and a much more lavish
physical production (sets, costumes, lighting, etc). The production
will tour and, if it's a success, may end up on Broadway. A recording
of the new version has been made, with an Australian musical star
named Anthony Walow as Jekyll. It was released in January, 1995 to
coincide with the opening of the Houston production (starring Robert
Cuccioli and Linda Eder). A multi-city tour begins summer/95.

The creative team behind J&H is Frank Wildhorn, the composer, and
Leslie Bricusse, book and lyrics. Wildhorn has compsed many pop
songs, for singers like Whitney Houston. He and Linda Eder are
married, and he writes many of his songs with her voice in mind. She
has sung in all productions of _Jekyll and Hyde_, and her voice is a
big reason for the show's success so far. She has a successful career
as a cabaret singer, with a recent long run in Los Angeles and at
least 2 solo albums.

Other personel on the _Jekyll and Hyde project have changed over the
years, thoguh Wildhorn has developed a group of regulars (musicians,
directors, etc), with whom he works regularly. If J&H is a success,
there are 2 other Wildhorn musicals in development: _The Scarlet
Pimpernel_, with lyrics by Nan Knighton, which has been done as a
concept album, and _Svengali_, which has had 2 stagings, at the Alley
Theatre in Houston and in Sarasota, Florida.


 

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