BWW Interview: Teal Wicks as Emma in JEKYLL AND HYDE
Teak Wicks is a theatre girl with California roots. She grew up in Sacramento, studied at UC Irvine and started journey as Elpheba in WICKED in San Francisco before moving to New York. Now she is back in California as Emma in the Broadway bound tour of JEKYLL AND HYDE.
Based on the short story by Robert Louis Stevenson JEKYLL AND HYDE follows a scientist who is driven to find a solution to challenging medical problems. Denied the ability to run his experiments he decides to try them on himself and unwittingly unleashes his hidden demons. Tony® and Grammy Award® nominee Frank Wildhorn and Oscar® and Grammy Award® winner Leslie Bricusse have updated this dark and dangerous story to suit the powerful and contemporary vocal stylings of its new stars Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox.
Most recently having played Elpheba in the powerhouse musical that is WICKED both in San Francisco and in New York, what is it that drew her to this Broadway bound tour of JEKYLL AND HYDE? “The main thing is that I wanted to be part of something from the ground up into Broadway and this is been a lot of time to really work on a show before we bring it to the New York audiences and on the tour and you get to be so many different theatres and different types of audiences and really great way to get a sense of what’s working and what doesn’t work and how does it sort of synapse the characters and how to just really get a such a great sense of what the show is and touring is a great way to do that. You get to travel, and I love to travel and I love going to new places and whatnot. It is all of us doing it together, and it’s fun.”
Wicks character maybe a society girl but that’s not what drew her to the part of Emma, Jekyll’s fiancé. “I really like that she’s a very passionate woman. And I love that, I love passionate characters that are true and full of laughter that follow their passions. I love that she’s this society girl who falls in love with an unlikely suitor and she’s completely committed to him and loves him for his passion and his commitment to his work and his drive.”
Teal says that this revamp of the musical is new to her since she wasn’t very familiar with the original version that premiered in 1997. Other than hearing a few songs, this is a completely new experience for her with this musical. “’I’ve never seen any version of JEKYLL AND HYDE and I didn’t know the album, any of the previous albums very much. So that was actually cool coming with fresh head into this because I had no preconceived notions of the show and I, as far as I can tell, I really like the direction that we’ve taken it. We’ve tried to make it contemporary and sort of appeal to today and music”.
As Emma, Wicks has one of the most memorable songs in the show, a powerful duet with the character Lucy played by Deborah Cox. “It’s definitely one of my favorite moments in the show. I just think the song is such a beautiful song and it’s such a fantastic moment to be singing this epic song. Especially with Deborah,, because she is just stunning. It’s so fun. It’s such a huge moment. I think the audience loves it and it’s really great. I love that song.”
And the California girl, how does she feel about this opportunity to kick off this show in San Diego? “I’m excited to go to San Diego. I just love it!”
Photo Credit: Broadway San Diego