Brennan Bence walked into auditions for Tri-Cities Prep’s production of the Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde with no theater experience.
But the 16-year-old junior “blew us away” with his powerful singing voice, said Mike Speegle, who’s directing the musical, opening Nov. 18.
Martin Powers also turned in a commanding performance. The 17-year-old junior is a stage veteran, and he showed off “raw physicality” during tryouts, Speegle said.
So, what to do? Cast Brennan in the lead role of Dr. Henry Jekyll and his alter ego Edward Hyde? Or give the part to Martin?
Prep’s fall and spring shows are often staged at the school, but Jekyll & Hyde is getting a different treatment. Performances are at the Uptown Theatre in Richland.
Speegle and his crew decided they didn’t want to decide. They cast both.
Although Jekyll and Hyde are typically played by one actor, in Prep’s production, Brennan plays Jekyll, a doctor who experiments on himself to help his ailing father.
The experimentation unleashes Jekyll’s inner demons in the form of Hyde, played by Martin.
The co-leads are doing a great job, Speegle said.
Nina Powers, who’s in charge of music and dance, agreed.
Jekyll & Hyde is the biggest musical Prep has ever put up, she said.
“It has these big numbers that take serious vocalists,” and Brennan, Martin and the rest “have really stepped up to the plate,” she said.
Performances are at 7 p.m. Nov. 18-19 and at 3 p.m Nov. 20. Tickets are $8 for students and $13 for adults.
Prep’s fall and spring shows are often staged at the school, but Jekyll & Hyde is getting a different treatment. Performances are at the Uptown Theatre, 1300 Jadwin Ave., Richland.
It’s a really intense musical. ... ‘Jekyll & Hyde’
Mike Speegle, director
The cast and crew are excited. The production is something special, they said.
Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, “the music is the star of the show,” Speegle said.
With epic songs from This is the Moment to Someone Like You, it’s about inhibition and lack thereof, about good vs. evil, about humanity, about honesty.
And it’s an unrelenting, seat-of-your-pants ride.
“It’s a really intense musical,” Speegle said. “Plays generally have these little lulls, breaks in the intensity. But Jekyll & Hyde — once it starts ramping up, it’s kind of merciless. No one is safe in the cast. It’s a musical Game of Thrones, if you will.”
Along with Brennan and Martin, the cast includes Sydney Kovis, 16, a junior, who plays Jekyll’s financee Emma; and Delaney Schroeder, 15, a sophomore, who plays Lucy, a courtesan.
Like Jekyll and Hyde, Emma and Lucy are mirrors of each other.
Although Jekyll and Hyde are typically played by one actor, the this production cast two actors.
“The play is all about your id. What would you do if you had no restrictions?” Delaney said. “I’m the unrestricted version of Emma. I’m a little more free, in the sense that I can say what I want.”
The show deals with big themes, and it’s intense, the students said.
But it’s also a lot of fun.
“It offers entertainment for everyone,” Brennan said. “It’s just cool, all the stuff that goes on.”
IF YOU GO
What: Tri-Cities Prep’s production of the Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde.
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 18-19 and 3 p.m Nov. 20.
Where: Uptown Theatre, 1300 Jadwin Ave., Richland.
Cost: $8 for students, $13 for adults.