Another Opera Australia and John Frost co-production, another big cast announcement!
Following in the footsteps of OA and Frost’s previous successful co-productions including South Pacific, The King and I and Anything Goes, Jekyll & Hyde will play from 8 December 2015 at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne, followed by a season at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney in March 2016.
The Australian premiere of the re-imagined classic thriller will star Teddy Tahu Rhodes (South Pacific, The King and I) in the title role. Jemma Rix, the renowned star of Wicked, will play Lucy, a woman who finds herself involved with Doctor Jekyll and his alter-ego. Lucy Maunder (Grease, Dr. Zhivago) will play Emma Carew, Jekyll’s fiance.
Keala Settle (Les Miserables and Hands on a Hardbody on Broadway) will play Nellie. Other lead performers include Barry Langrishe as Danvers, Jennifer Vuletic as Lady Beaconsfield and Philip Dodd as Spider and Poole.
The ensemble features Annie Aitken, Bianca Baykara, Damien Bermingham, Andrew Broadbent, Tony Farrell, Courtney Glass, Georgina Hopson, Joe Kosky, Andrew Kroenert, Adam Lyon, Noni McCallum, Adele Parkinson, Chris Scalzo, Karla Tonkich, Dean Vince and Sophie Wright.
This new take on the Robert Louis Stevenson story will be directed by Christopher Renshaw (The King and I) and designed by Gabriela Tylesova (Love Never Dies). It’s a compelling story about a talented doctor who is trying to tackle mental illness but just ends up splitting his personality into the good (Dr Jekyll) and evil (Mr Hyde).
Jekyll & Hyde was originally conceived for the stage by Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cuden, and features music by Wildhorn, a book by Leslie Bricusse and lyrics by Wildhorn, Bricusse and Cuden.
Following a world premiere run in Houston, Texas the musical embarked on a US national tour prior to its Broadway debut in 1997, where it was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Book of a Musical (Leslie Bricusse) and Best Actor in a Musical (Robert Cuccioli) as well as six Outer Critics Circle Awards, and won two Drama Desk Awards. Many international productions have been staged since.
“After a meeting with John Frost and sparked by his enthusiasm for a reimagined Jekyll & Hyde, we agreed to take another look at our work,” said Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn.
“John introduced us to the international director Christopher Renshaw and also to Lyndon Terracini from Opera Australia, and together we arrived at a new piece that got a private showing at a Broadway reading in January. On the strength of that showing we are thrilled that John and Lyndon are going to produce our new Jekyll & Hyde in Australia for the first time.”
“I am very excited to finally bring this wonderful musical to Australia for its first professional production,” said John Frost.
“This re-imagined version proved to be a powerful and moving experience for everyone present, and I know audiences are going to be enthralled by the classic story and the magnificent music.”
“The cast we have assembled is truly impressive, led by the remarkable Teddy Tahu Rhodes,” added Lyndon Terracini. “I love the epic sweep of this musical and am genuinely excited to share it with our audience. I really enjoy our collaboration with John Frost, and together we are producing musicals with the highest of values in production, stagecraft and performance.”