Jekyll & Hyde, the musical horror drama creeps into town to bring Stage Coach Players’ 2018 summer season to a close. The musical phenomenon was written with music by Frank Wildhorn (Bonnie & Clyde), book by Leslie Bricusse (Willy Wonka) and lyrics by Wildhorn, Bricusse and Steve Cuden. The story, adapted from the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novella, is an evocative tale of two men and the classic struggle between good and evil. One is a passionate doctor, while the other is a terrifying madman both sharing the same earthly vessel. Two women fall in love with him, each unaware of his dark secret.
Jekyll & Hyde is directed by Cortney Jo Newby in her directing debut at Stage Coach with vocal direction from Hillary Rutten and pit direction from Judy O’Connor. The cast features Steven Becker in the title role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Elenia Dokos as Lucy, Meg McGarry as Emma, Rudy Espiritu as John Utterson, and Dave Watson as Sir Danvers Carew.
Rounding out the cast is Shannon Becker, Deb Brubaker, Patrick Deering, Jessica Falco, Scotty Fleetwood, Bryan Fowler, Karla Gulke, Jeff Hall, Cheri Heinz, Cheryl Hellyer, Jacob Ihm, Dorcas Keating, Robyn Lycan, Stephanie Mabry, Korey Miller, Riley Powers, Larry Rapach, Allison Scigalski, Jock Sommese, Michael Steffen, Wendy Tritt, Jackie Was, Chris Welch, Darren Whaley and Greg Yep.
Steve Becker, who plays Jekyll/Hyde, said he knew the story pretty well through the many iterations throughout history adding, “I was quite familiar with the musical, but it’s been a wonderful challenge for all of us as I think that the music is deceptive. It seems pretty straight forward, but it’s actually pretty complex.”
It’s also music the listener can fall madly in love with. After hearing the song, “Once Upon A Dream” from the show when she was 13, Newby said, “I fell in love with the music and needed to know more about this show.” And so she read the original story. “That is when I read the book for the first time. It became an obsession over the years.”
Jekyll & Hyde is a rock pop opera and for that reason, isn’t done often. There is very little dialogue, with much of the show being sung by a talented group of actors. The musical numbers contained in the show include, “A New Life,” “Someone Like You,” “This Is The Moment,” and “Once Upon A Dream.” To get an idea of the music, the original Broadway cast recording can be heard via Spotify. Or a sampling of the songs is available at the Music Theatre International website.
The 1997 Broadway production of Jekyll & Hyde garnered four Tony Award nominations for best costume design, best lighting design, best book for a musical and best actor in a musical for Robert Cuccioli for his portrayal of Jekyll and Hyde. Cuccioli won both a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award while Linda Eder won Theater World Award for her portrayal of Lucy Harris.
Wondering what she hopes the audience gets from the performance, Elenia Dokos (Lucy Harris) said, “I hope they’re impressed with the work that we put in,” adding, “I would love for the audience to be challenged. We are definitely going outside the box with Jekyll.” Newby added, “It is such a great feeling to know you have so many wonderful people who want you succeed and make you proud.” Jekyll & Hyde contains adult themes and material and may not be suitable for kids aged 13 and under.
Performances for Jekyll & Hyde are October 24th through October 27th and November 1st through November 3rd with a curtain time of 7:30, along with a Saturday matinee on October 27th and a Sunday matinee on November 4th with a curtain time of 2:00.
Tickets are $20 each or $18 for seniors and children age 13 and under. To purchase tickets, visit our online website at www.stagecoachers.com. You can also call the Stage Coach box office which opens Sunday, September 16th. The phone number is (815) 758-1940.
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