Rob Evan Does Jekyll & Hyde Again
Pati Buehler: Here you are back again! With all of your experience with Jekyll & Hyde, how is this different?
Rob Evan: Isn't that something! (laughing) You know the history of the show and me as well as others who have played this role. I never really had my version before now; it was never my vehicle. It was always someone else's vehicle that I stepped into which was great for a long time, but still not mine.
I've been involved with this show since 1994 doing the regional production and the pre-Broadway tour that I left to go to play Valjean in 1996 in Philly where you first saw me. After that I came back to Broadway in 1997, but again it wasn't my project. So, the good thing about this is, first of all, is that its kind of my own version. Frank (Wildhorn) and Greg (Boyd) went in and re-wrote it.
PB: Sort of like the "Transformation" of Jekyll & Hyde?
RE: Yeah, that's right. Hey that's cool, you should drop that in Frank's ear - I like that! (laughing)
RE: A friend of mine, Tom Lazenby, had seen it and had an interest in wanting to basically bring a world-class product around the country to venues that's affordable. Obviously what we're running into right now is really the economics of it. With the unions going the way they are, who knows? So our philosophy is that you can bring the best people whom you feel can sing this, put them in a venue, surround it with great musicians and it will still be affordable and feasible to produce. With many tours there's the sets and everything that has to go along with that, so this is like a one shot. It's a one night show; we're not doing eight shows a week. I've done that about 600 times and that doesn't attract me any more. (giggles) I've been there with this role.
In essence, it's the music that still attracts me and I love singing this, more than anything theatrically right now. After 10 years of singing this, it's really in my voice. The fact is we can sing it and present these songs in a perfect situation as opposed to having to worry about all of the other stuff that goes along with it. I get the joy of the music in a concert setting, while we storyline it together so that you still care about the characters.
To me as an audience, I would enjoy that; to care about who's performing and their journey as well as these songs that are so full and lush. The music is compelling, and you know you can criticize the show as much as you want but to me the music is still compelling. Critics have called the music bombastic, but I personally like bombastic. I'm a bombastic fan! (laughing). The reason we ran on Broadway for years is because the fans liked it. They came back, and they felt the passion.
Hopefully we can take this a step further and still have the passion. It's a cool story and it's made even cooler in that it's a little more in the characters' heads, streamlined obviously. But this has got a rock edge that you will like, I hope. "The World Has Gone Insane" is a blast.
Then there's that whole "I wanna be a rock star" side of me that you've seen. (laughing). You know, Tom Jones, Robert Palmer. So let's do this! We've got Alex Skolnick whom I worked with in the tour with the Trans Siberian Orchestra, and he's a fantastic guitarist. We've got Boy George's drummer from the West Coast. We're bringing in a rock band, which has never been done with this. I feel like this is a great fusion between Broadway and rock that I think will also appeal to a younger audience.
This is again, just to see what we have and where we're going. This is gonna be a blast! I can't wait for you to see it!
PB: I'm ready. This also comes smack in the middle of your upcoming adventure as the dentist in "Little Shop of Horrors." How much fun is that?
RE: Right! I actually had to delay my start there to do the Jekyll Concert. I am so looking forward to exploring some fun with that role too. I want you and everyone to come see me real soon and tell me what you think.
PB: You got it! Thanks for sharing your break time with me. New projects are always exciting and I am looking forward to this weekend.
RE: Anytime! Thank you!