The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has been a part of literary culture and legend since Robert Louis Stevenson first published his novella in 1886. The work was an instant success and is one of Stevenson's bestselling titles.
Upon its release, stage adaptation began almost immediately. Over the years, the story has been the basis for countless films and stage shows, with many impressive and acclaimed performers taking on the dual role of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. Screen legends such as Michael Cain and Jack Palance have played the role in movie versions, while more recently on Broadway, Robert Cuccioli and David Hasselhoff stepped into the part.
Only weeks ago it was announced that a revival of Jekyll & Hyde is headed for Broadway featuring American Idol contestant and Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis in the title role. The new production will land on Broadway in the spring of 2013 after a 25 week national tour beginning this October.
Way Off Broadway's production will be led by Matt Curtis, making his debut at the Frederick theatre. While Curtis will be taking his first bow in Frederick, he is a longtime performer in the region having stared as Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer, Mark in RENT, Danny Zuko in Grease, and Younger Brother in Ragtime.
In the stage version of Jekyll & Hyde, the performer playing the role is on stage nearly the entire show, with only a few brief moments offstage. Not only does it call for an enormous amount of energy, but a vocal strength found in only a select few other stage roles in recent years. One of the most famous and memorable songs, "This is the Moment," can bring down the house. But to follow the number up almost immediately with two more powerhouse songs takes a special skill.
"I've had a great time working with Matt," says Justin M. Kiska, one of Way Off Broadway's owners and the director of Jekyll & Hyde. "He's come in with some great ideas for the part. Neither he or I wanted to simply recreate something someone else did. We wanted to make Way Off Broadway's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde unique to this production."
Jekyll & Hyde is an evocative tale of the epic battle between good and evil, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story,The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, about a brilliant doctor whose experiments with human personality create a murderous counterpart. Convinced the cure for his father's mental illness lies in the separation of Man's evil nature from his good, Dr. Henry Jekyll unwittingly unleashes his own dark side, wreaking havoc in the streets of late 19th century London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde.
Joining Curtis on stage will be Jordan C. Allen, Jessica Billones, Matthew David Crawford, Sheila Cunningham, Caroline Griswold, Michael Iacone, Brian D. James, Bill Kiska, David Marcus, Justin Mohay, Natalie Stephenson, Jordan B. Stocksdale, Joseph Waeyaert, Shannon Wells, and Genevieve Williams.
Jekyll & Hyde was conceived for the stage by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn and has a book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and music by Frank Wildhorn. Way Off Broadway's production will run from March 23 – June 2, 2012 and will be directed by Kiska, with musical staging by Amanda Patten and music direction by Jordan B. Stocksdale.