With just two days to go, the excitement is building for the first professional tour of Jekyll and Hyde to hit Australia.
A story that has fascinated people for years, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was adapted into a musical in 1990, and resurged the iconic story for a new generation. With the Australian cast including icons such as Anthony Warlow and Jemma Rix, it is definitely not one to miss. Amanda Lea Lavergne will be joining the cast as Lisa in the upcoming tour of Jekyll and Hyde in Melbourne and Sydney, thousands of miles away from her home in the States.
Texas-born Amanda has lived in New York for the last 15 years, and has performed on some of Broadway’s most iconic stages, as well as US regional stages including Ogunquit, Gateway and Sharon Playhouses. She originated the role of Campbell in the World Premiere of Bring It On: The Musical directed by Andy Blankenbuehler. Amanda was also invited to perform the role of Billie Bendix (originated by Kelli O’Hara) in the first production of Nice Work If You Can Get It to be mounted outside of New York. It’s impossible to condense Amanda’s impressive resume, but some other credits include Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, ChaCha in Grease, Maggie in A Chorus Line, Grace Farrell in the 35th Anniversary production of Annie and Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.
What has been the most exciting part of working on Jekyll and Hyde?
Quite possibly just being invited to be in the show is the most exciting. I met and worked with Anthony Warlow in the 35th Anniversary of Annie on Broadway a few years ago. So given any chance to share a stage with him again is quite thrilling. In addition to getting invited to work here, I am really excited to explore Melbourne and Sydney.
And what have you found the most challenging?
Being part of such an iconic show that is so universally well known brings with it some challenges. Honoring those performers who have performed it before while also being true to what I am is a delicate balancing act.
Do you have a favourite song in the show?
“In His Eyes.” While the music itself is sweeping, grand and builds throughout the song, it is the lyrics that do it for me. Because while the subject of the song is Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, it reveals so much of who Lisa and Lucy are and what they have and would sacrifice for love.
Why do you think of Jekyll and Hyde has been so acclaimed?
Jekyll and Hyde really broke the barrier between rock and musical theatre. It is one glorious and memorable power ballad after another which was so unique at the time. I think it also brought a new group of theatre goers to musicals because of its score and darkness. There is something so intriguing about the fact that both good and evil reside in each of us and how we navigate instincts and propriety when it comes to relationships and science.
What can audiences expect from the upcoming concerts?
They can expect the music to be front and center with the orchestra onstage to bring to life this incredible score. There will be minimal staging to give the audience an idea of time and place and costumes to give the sense of style and color.
Concertworks presents Jekyll and Hyde – The 25th Anniversary Concert
Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October | Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
Saturday 2nd November | Darling Harbour Theatre, ICC Sydney
For tickets and more information, please visit the Concertworks website.