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‘Jekyll and Hyde’ on stage at Geyer Performing Arts Center, Scottdale

November 9, 2018

John Cunnard has a different kind of treat in store for theatergoers at the Geyer Performing Arts Center.

Cunnard, vice president of Actors and Artists of Fayette County, has directed Hallo­ween shows for the past nine years -- mostly funny, family shows like “Clue the Musical,” “Little Shop of Horrors” and last year’s record-breaking, sold-out production of “The Addams Family the Musical.”

Good vs. Evil

This season’s show is a musical horror-drama based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of a physician, Dr. Henry Jekyll, whose evil creation known as Mr. Hyde wreaks havoc on the city of London. Will Herrington of Connellsville portrays Jekyll/Hyde.

Its score features pop rock hits from Grammy and Tony Award-nominated Frank Wildhorn and Academy and Grammy-winning Leslie Bricusse.

The director says “Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical,” being performed by AAFC from Oct. 25-28 at the theater in Scottdale -- while being a great story for Halloween -- may be too scary for young children.

Leyna Wright of Greensburg says the music in the show is beautiful.

Unforgettable score

“Most musicals are happy-go-lucky, but ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ is a darker, more dramatic musical with power ballads, duets and ensemble numbers,” she says.

Her character, Lucy Harris, is the main attraction at a seedy club called the Red Rat. She dreams of a better life for herself but works as a “lady of the night” to survive day-to-day life.

Wright says when Lucy meets Jekyll, he gives her new hope for a better life and the possibility of love.

“I think people will discover how some of the themes in this show are relevant in today’s society, especially in the opening ensemble number, ‘Facade,’ ” she says. “One of my favorite lyrics in that number is ‘The ladies and gents here before you ... which none of them ever admits, may have saintly looks but are sinners and crooks, hypocrites.’ ”

Hyde’s obsession

Kelly Damico of Connellsville portrays Emma Carew, Jekyll’s fiancée, a woman she describes as the epitome of propriety and grace.

“I feel that I can relate to Emma in that she exudes great love throughout the show and is slightly headstrong and knows what she wants out of life,” Damico says. “Emma is the complete opposite of Lucy Harris, Edward Hyde’s obsession, and is sometimes referred to as the ‘light’ to Lucy’s ‘dark.’ ”

Wright last performed as Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” at Geyer Performing Arts Center. She recently choreographed “Really Rosie” for Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont and Fairy Tale Fashion Show at The Palace Theatre for the Westmoreland Cultural Trust.

Damico played Eponine in “Les Miserables,” Hope Cladwell in “Urinetown” and Alice Beineke in “The Addams Family” for GPAC; she also played Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” at Diamond Theater of Ligonier.

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