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Caught between good and evil, one man must ultimately face the darkness that lurks within him. DOMA Theatre Company unleashes the third offering in an ambitious season of musicals with book/lyricist Leslie Bricusse and composer Frank Wildhorn’s Jekyll & Hyde, the Musical. The Tony-nominated Broadway sensation is set for a limited run, July 6-29, at the intimate MET Theatre in Hollywood with DOMA artistic director Marco Gomez at the helm, Angela Todaro choreographing, and musical direction by 21-year-old prodigy Chris Raymond, a protégé of Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown.
Jekyll & Hyde, based on the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, is the dark tale of well-meaning Dr. Henry Jekyll who desperately seeks a cure for the evil in the world—but is instead pitted in a cruel battle against Edward Hyde, his own evil alter ego. Attracting legions of fans prior to the show’s 1997 Broadway opening, the musical became an overnight sensation, running for four years with its sexy, gothic score that produced two blockbuster show tunes: “This is the Moment” and “Someone Like You.” The pop-rock extravaganza was nominated for four Tony awards and developed an unprecedented international cult following of passionately-devoted fans dubbed “Jekkies.”
“Musically, I’m approaching Jekyll & Hyde as a contemporary operetta,” explains Raymond. “The overall sound will draw primarily from Gothic choir, pop and rock influences and will be performed with a musical flair that I hope will prove unmatched by any previous production.”
Raymond, who trained classically on piano, guitar, clarinet, voice and percussion, was “discovered” at age 15 when Jason Robert Brown chose the high school sophomore to play in the pit orchestra for his 13 The Musical at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Raymond went on to play productions of 13 at the Mark Taper Forum, Goodspeed Opera House and on Broadway, then studied music composition and performance at California Institute of the Arts. He recently played the North American tour of Handel’s Messiah Rocks (a modern rendition of the classic oratorio that featured an orchestra, three choirs, three lead singers and a rock band), as well as alongside Herbie Hancock at The Roxy Theatre. Raymond composes, arranges and conducts for many musical groups around Southern California, and previously musical directed The Who’s Tommy and Songs For A New World for DOMA.
“I learned most of what I know about musical directing and composition from closely observing Mr. Brown in his element,” he says.
The cast of Jekyll and Hyde includes Chris Kerrigan (previously seen in DOMA’s The Who’s Tommy) as Jekyll/Hyde; Amber Gildersleeve (Get Out magazine and Goldy awards plus AriZoni nominee, all for Best Actress in a Musical for Maria in Theatre Works’ (AZ) production of West Side Story) as Jekyll’s fiancée, Emma; and Cassandra Nuss (national tours of S’Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical and Jingle Bell Rock) as the prostitute Lucy who becomes captivated by the sinister prowess of the evil Hyde.
Also in the cast are Benai Boyd, Rich Brunner, Elora Casados, Edgar Edgerley, Jason T. Gaffney, Maggie Hall, Michelle Holmes, Kari Irwin, Mookie Johnson, Paulina Lagudi, Ana Therese Lopez, Leslie Marrero, Adam McDonald, Victor Mercado, Randal Miles, Kevin Michael Moran, Stephanie Pressman, Garret Riley, Brittany Rodin, Nik Roybal, Angela Salvetti, Dan Spector and Scott Strauss.
Set and costume design for Jekyll & Hyde, the Musical is by Brandy A. Jacobs; lighting design is by Johnny Ryman; and sound design is by Joseph Montiel.
DOMA Theatre Company began as a joint venture between Dolf Ramos and Marco Gomez in 2002. In the beginning, DOMA provided a platform for young talent to obtain experience performing in musical theater productions alongside seasoned professionals. As the company grew, it partnered with The Hope & Union Foundation, a California public benefit organization dedicated to the arts and to assisting at-risk youth. Through its partnership with the Foundation, DOMA was able to stage productions including new works (Lovers’ Mayhem, Gallery), revivals (Cabaret, Into The Woods, The Wild Party, Passion, Jaques Brel…), and plays (The Actor’s Nightmare and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All).
Jekyll & Hyde, the Musical runs Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 3 pm from July 6 through July 29. Tickets range from $30–$34.99; seniors and students with ID pay only $10. The MET Theatre is located at 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles CA 90029. Secure, on-site parking is available for $5 at Earl Scheib Paint and Auto Body, 5416 Santa Monica Blvd. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (323) 802-4990 or go to www.DomaTheatre.com.