Today is Friday the 13th, a great day to set up an appointment with the doctor. Dr. Jekyll will be seeing patients at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Feb. 17-19.
One of the stars of “Jekyll and Hyde,” the musical by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse, is Eryn LeCroy, a former San Antonio resident. She plays the role of Emma Carew, Dr. Jekyll’s fiancée, and has been seeing the doctor since this traveling production started last fall. I caught up with her on phone while she was in New Jersey for an interview with the Rivard Report.
Don Mathis: How long have you been a Jekkie?
Eryn LeCroy: This is a new role for me but I loved the music before we started rehearsals. The national tour of “Jekyll and Hyde” began fall last year in Minneapolis.
DM: What is the friction in this story?
EL: Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale concerns good and evil. The story was released in 1886, but it’s still relevant. Emma’s concern is, “Am I going to make the right choice?”
DM: What prepared you for this role?
EL: My interest in music began when I was homeschooled in San Antonio. I studied with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio in 2001 and learned to read vocal music. And I graduated from the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University last year. My classical training prepared me for the stamina and the crossover work between opera and musical theater primed me for the range of music.
DM: Generally, what type of music is in J&H?
EL: That’s what so great about this score. It’s a mix; full orchestra, singing, belting, pop, with an influence of rock and contemporary.
DM: How many people are in the orchestra?
EL: Three people provide the background music. Jeffrey Campos is the music director. He travels with us and plays keyboard. Marcus Bohn plays drums. And Brent Kincaid works the computer system. The sound of a full orchestra is achieved with the Notation Program.
DM: What is your favorite song in the musical?
EL: I enjoy “Dangerous Game,” sung by Hyde and Lucy (the good-hearted courtesan). My favorite song that I sing is “In His Eyes,” which is a duet between Emma and Lucy. I love the different vocal challenges.
DM: What is your character like?
EL: Henry Jekyll’s fiancé is very funky, very mischievous. She has a strong character and stands up for what she believes. She stands up to her father. She has a struggle with expectations by society in Act II. Emma is torn between her love for Jekyll and responsibility to her family. She becomes fearful he might not be faithful.
DM: What is it like acting with one man who has two personalities?
EL: Interacting with two characters is different; it keeps me on my toes. Emma doesn’t know of their dual identity until she reads his journal entries.
DM: What is the most difficult part for you in this play?
EL: The hardest part is keeping the show fresh — finding new ideas. It’s important for me to listen intently to other characters in the scene.
DM: Paul Stancato is the director. What’s it like working with him?
EL: He’s wonderful! He has a strong background as a performer and dancer. Paul is very specific; he challenges us. We spent two intense weeks in Minnesota.
DM: What have you learned from this play? How has Emma helped you grow?
EL: It has helped me a lot with my stamina and physical health. Having to adjust so quickly has given me more flexibility as an actor. I’ve learned the importance of teamwork. The crew works so hard; I’ve gained so much respect for them. The performers travel in the day. The crew is already to go when we get there. In order for the show to be successful, it is important to have a good relationship with crew.
DM: Would you do it again?
EL: Absolutely! I love to travel. We’ve done around 65 shows with 100 shows on the tour. I love the River Walk and the Mexican food in San Antonio. I can’t wait to introduce the crew to Rosario’s or Mi Tierra.
The Tobin discourages viewers age twelve and under for this production. Tickets start at $39.50. See www.tobincenter.org for show times.
*Featured/top image: “Jekyll and Hyde.” Photo courtesy of the Tobin Center.