In Jekyll & Hyde, the conflict within the central character is mirrored in the two women vying for his affection. Jekyll’s fiancee Emma, who is all sweetness and purity, stands in contrast to tough-spirited Lucy, with both women hoping to capture the best of the man they adore. In the current national tour, Emma is played by Teal Wicks, who made a name for herself as Elphaba in Wicked, in LA, San Francisco, and on Broadway.
Comparing Wicked to Jekyll & Hyde might seem like night and day, but at their core they both explore the nature of good and evil, and both showcase leading ladies with unexpected strength and courage. “I did not immediately connect with Emma when I first discovered this show,” says Wicks.
“But I did think that “Once Upon a Dream” was a beautifully simple song amongst all the huge power ballads and I appreciated that moment of quiet and simplicity for Emma.” Wicks admits that prior to being cast in this tour, she had previously auditioned for a production, but for the role of Lucy, played in this tour by Deborah Cox. “It took me finding the guts, strength and passion in Emma before I truly embraced her and now I’m having a great time living in her skin.”
While enjoying Emma’s strength, Wicks admits that her favorite moment to watch is the saucy Lucy in “Bring on the Men,” just to see the whole company “living it up.” By contrast, her favorite moment to perform is the power duet, “In His Eyes.” “I get to just let loose vocally and belt it out with Deborah Cox” says Wicks.
Jekyll & Hyde brings out a little more darkness than Wicked, which leads to a more of a guilty pleasure feel, onstage as well as in the audience. “Wicked has a lot more lightness and reflections of hope, so with Jekyll and Hyde… we get to indulge a little more into that dark edgy side and root for the bad guy as much as the good guy,” says Wicks.
Performing Jekyll & Hyde in Denver brings its own challenges, as Wicks says she’s never sung at altitude before. “I’m just taking it a day at a time, staying hydrated and squeezing in bits of cardio before a show,” she says. Wicks also points out an additional hurdle that adds to the challenge of the show for all of the ladies. “Gals have to do the show in corsets, bustles and heels, the guys don’t — not fair!”