National touring production of “Jekyll & Hyde” comes to Oklahoma City

Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox headline national touring production of the musical “Jekyll & Hyde.”
BY RICK ROGERS rrogers@opubco.com Modified: January 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm •  Published: January 13, 2013

Literature and film have enjoyed considerable success with tales of people who have been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, or, as it's known today, dissociative identity disorder. Think of “Frankenstein,” “The Three Faces of Eve” and “Sibyl.”

Rivaling all of these tales is Robert Louis Stevenson's “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” an 1886 novella about a London physician whose transformation into a sinister alter ego has dramatic consequences.

Stevenson's novella, which explored the idea of separating good from evil, provided the inspiration for countless stage and film adaptations, including the 1997 Broadway musical titled simply “Jekyll & Hyde.”

Featuring music by Frank Wildhorn with book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, “Jekyll & Hyde” ran for nearly four years on Broadway and has frequently been produced in stock and regional theater.

A new national touring production of “Jekyll & Hyde” featuring “American Idol” star Constantine Maroulis and Grammy Award nominee Deborah Cox comes to Oklahoma City this week for eight performances at the Civic Center Music Hall.

Maroulis, who made it to the finals in season four of “American Idol,” was cast as Drew Dillenbeck in the 2009 Broadway musical “Rock of Ages.” A musical theater graduate of the Boston Conservatory, Maroulis has also appeared in productions of “Rent,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Jacques Brel” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“I think a lot of people have come to know me from television but I grew up as an actor and I've been blessed to tackle some great (musical theater) roles,” Maroulis said recently. “I feel like everything I've done has led to this moment.”

Despite its lengthy Broadway run, “Jekyll & Hyde” had a difficult period of development that resulted in numerous incarnations over a seven-year span. Wildhorn's success as a pop music writer (Whitney Houston's “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?”) didn't prepare him for the rigors of the musical theater, particularly when it came to composing songs that advance plot or provide character development.