Walk on the wild side with Greensburg Civic Theatre’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’
Greensburg Civic Theatre will open its 68th season with a killer of a musical when it presents “Jekyll and Hyde” Oct. 17-19 at Greensburg Garden and Civic Center.
“I seem to be completing a trilogy of horror shows for GCT,” says director Vince D’Angelo of Oakmont, who also directed “Dracula” for the theater company before moving to Florida nine years ago and “Frankenstein” after he moved back to Pennsylvania last year.
“These plays call for strong actors and imaginative work from everyone involved,” he says.
D’Angelo has found both in the casting of local stage veterans in “Jekyll and Hyde,” the gothic musical based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s story, which stars Vince Tresco of Plum in the dual roles of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde.
Classic tragic figures
“Victor Frankenstein and Henry Jekyll are both classic tragic figures who mean well but come to realize that their good intentions are having the opposite result. One man brings a creature to life and one finds the creature within himself,” the director says.
The musical also features Josh List, Breanna Deutsch and Barbara Rolla, all of Greensburg, in leading roles.
For Tresco, GCT’s upcoming production is his first opportunity to play his favorite theatrical role of Jekyll.
“I very rarely get to play dark characters, so transforming into Hyde takes me to new places,” he says. “The biggest challenge for me, however, is splitting the personalities and reactions.”
Deutsch, who portrays Jekyll’s fiancée Emma Carew, says the music in the show is beautiful.
“I’m a sucker for a show with a good score and these songs are not only written beautifully, they compliment and help form the diverse characters in this story,” she says.
Her favorite song in the show is “In His Eyes,” which she sings along with Rolla, who portrays Lucy Harris, the main attraction in the floor show at The Red Rat.
“She takes things as they come, knowing that there is not a better life for her, although she dreams there is,” Rolla says. “Lucy is a pivot point in the piece for both Jekyll and Hyde. She is the epitome of the carnal desire within each of them.”
Rolla says her character puts on a mask of being hard and unbreakable, but inside, she is one of the most fragile characters in the show.
Walking a dark path
“Every actor in this show is pushing themselves to unexplored limits,” she says. “We all walk a dark path to bring these characters to life.”
D’Angelo says “Jekyll and Hyde” is a very intense show and parental guidance is suggested.
“It is a well-written play with many beautiful songs and many extremely intense scenes. I think it will ‘wow’ our audiences,” he says.
J. Eric Barchiesi serves as musical director, Leyna Wright is choreographer and Thomas Arillotta is stage manager.
The rest of the GCT season
Rolla, who also serves as Greensburg Civic Theatre’s board of directors, says the direction and choreography in the season’s opening show “pushes limits the GCT has never done before.”
The theater company is striving to make a mark in the community this year, she says, with productions following “Jekyll and Hyde” that include “Disney Frozen Jr.,” Dec. 20-21; “The Sunshine Boys,” Feb. 20-22; “Miss Nelson is Missing,” March 20-21; and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” April 30-May 2.
GCT will host a Gala on Dec. 11 to raise money and awareness for the Arts and GCT and tickets will be on sale at the first show.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.