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Jekyll & Hyde in Concert

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Interview with Kate Shindle | Interview with Rob Evan
Interview with Lauren Kennedy & Victoria Matlock

Frank Wildhorn is the composer of the gothic musical thriller Jekyll & Hyde, which made its debut on Broadway in 1997. While the New York critics gave the show less than glowing reviews, it went on to play for four years and continues to play both nationally and internationally. Jekyll & Hyde was embraced by a loyal group of supporters and fans known as "Jekkies."

During its' creative stages there were several songs written for this dark piece by the team of Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn, including some that the New York audiences never had the opportunity to see performed. All of that changed as Jekyll & Hyde was presented for the first time - in concert.

The story is of course based on the sad tale of Dr. Jekyll who is determined to find the cure to end all evil and find the good in man through an experimental drug. When his theory is rejected by a Board of Governors, Jekyll decides to become the subject of his own experiment. Things do not go according to plan and the drug has an adverse effect, turning the good doctor into the monstrous Edward Hyde. The rest of the story is history.

Dave Hart, Tom Lazenby and Frank Wildhorn produced the concert concept, and Gregory Boyd, the original director of Jekyll & Hyde, returns to direct the concert version. The music tells the story, and does so using the score's many compelling songs to reveal the emotions and passion of the story. From Jekyll's "I Need to Know" and moment of decision in "This Is The Moment," to beautiful songs such as "Someone Like You" and "Once Upon a Dream," the story unfolds through song.

The talented leads consist of Robert Evan, who played the title role of Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway for three years in more than 600 performances. Rob's tenderness as Jekyll captures the heart of his fiancée Emma, played by Broadway veteran Lauren Kennedy who's starred in such shows as Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard, and Side Show. This is not the first time Evan and Kennedy have played opposite one another in concert. Rob Evan played Anatoly and Lauren Kennedy played Florence, his love interest, in Chess in Concert at the Helen Hayes Theater in Nyack a few years back.

Evan's powerful transformation into Hyde takes him over the edge as he delivers a mad version of "Alive" and "The World Has Gone Insane". Hyde also meets up with Lucy Harris, a lady of the night, played by Kate Shindle who also played the title role of Lucy on Broadway. No stranger to the limelight, Shindle was Miss America 1998 and has since earned credibility as a talented actress and singer.

Both Kennedy and Shindle deliver Wildhorn's songs with full throttled emotion and passion, and their duet of "In His Eyes" was a show stopping surprise.

A 30-piece orchestra was brought in to give this music an amazingly full sound. Guitarist, Alex Skolnick from the Tran Siberian Orchestra, and Chris Jago, drummer for Boy George's Taboo, add an edgy rock sound to Hyde's scary solos. The songs flow well and advance the plot nicely by leaving little question as to where this tale is going. For those who have seen the musical on Broadway or on one of the numerous tours, let me just say there are no umbrellas and no Murder! Murder! This show is definitely not a Facade.

 

In an interview with Frank Wildhorn, he admits this concert is still in its embryonic stage, but has received much interest from the international companies of Jekyll & Hyde to mount Jekyll & Hyde in Concert around the world, so you'll be seeing much more of it soon.

 

Original J&H director Gregory Boyd with J&H composer Frank Wildhorn


Jekyll & Hyde in Concert song list: Overture, Board of Governors, I Need To Know, Possessed, Take Me As I Am, Bring On The Men, Lucy Meets Hyde, How Can I Continue On, This Is The Moment, The Transformation, The Girls of The Night, Alive, His Work And Nothing More, Streaks Of Madness, Sympathy Tenderness, Someone Like You, Entr'Acte, Once Upon A Dream, Reflections, The World Has Gone Insane, No One Knows Who I Am, It's A Dangerous Game, In His Eyes, No One Must Ever Know, A New Life, Confrontation, Once Upon A Dream.

For information about upcoming shows at Lenape visit www.sjtheater.com or call 856.983.3366

photo credits: Jim Weiner

 

 

 

 


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