“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, the famous novella about a scientist whose experiments accidentally give him a first-hand look into the nature of evil, has been re-imagined in every manner possible over the years – including this entertaining bit from “Arthur”.
Now a musical about Dr. Jekyll’s deadly split personality disorder,
starring multi-platinum selling singer Deborah Cox and “American Idol’s” Constantine Maroulis, is on a 25-week, nationwide tour. It’s run at the Kennedy Center starts today and lasts until November 25.
With music by Tony and Grammy Award nominated composer Frank Wildhorn (“The Scarlet Pimpernel”, “Dracula: The Musical”) and Grammy and Oscar award-winning songwriter, Leslie Bruicusse (“Victor Victoria”, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”) the play spent four years on Broadway, and being performed around the world.
They have revamped play, with Deborah Cox playing Lucy, the “lady of the night” that becomes Dr. Jekyll’s (played by Maroulis) love interest.
“Lucy is a seductress who falls in love with Dr. Jekyll,” says Cox in an interview, when asked to describe her character. “She’s a survivor, and she’s very powerful in her surroundings. A lot of strength to get out of the life she’s leading now. She’s a very complex woman who wears her sexuality on her sleeve,”
This is not Cox’s first musical theatre undertaking. In fact, she landed her very first role when she was in middle school, in a school production of “The Wizard of Oz”. Cox played the scarecrow.
“I used the original as inspiration, but the way I sang my part was slightly different,: Cox says. “I figured out and appreciated something original about myself.”
In 2004, she took on another role, playing the lead in Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida” for eight months. Cox feels these forays into other forms of music have helped her cultivate her talent.
“It’s important, as an artist, to have a bit of flexibility and diversity. I grew up listening to jazz, blues, r & b and gospel,” says Cox. “That’s what sets apart some artists, like Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston – they just don’t stick to singing one style. That always intrigued me,”
When she was invited to join the cast of “Jekyll and Hyde” she was busy prepping for “Josephine”, a Broadway musical about the life of legendary singer, dancer and actress, Josephine Baker. They were waiting to find a theatre when she got the call.
“The producers approached me about Lucy. They wanted to bring the musical to back to Broadway, to revamp and revive it I knew about the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, but I didn’t know there was a female character,” says Cox.
So, she put “Josephine” on the backburner, and began prepping for the nationwide tour of “Jekyll & Hyde”.
“It is a great opportunity to hone skills and make my mark in musical theatre,” she says.
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