I was 24 the first time I heard music from Jekyll & Hyde. I didn’t attend a production. I didn’t hear the cd. Two friends of mine in the cast of completely different show we were doing (West Side Story) sang some selections from Jekyll & Hyde when we’d be sitting around killing time between performances. The songs were catchy. I liked them but didn’t think much more than that about them.
I was 25 when I first heard the Broadway cast recording of Jekyll & Hyde featuring the iconic Robert Cuccioli in the dual lead roles. Complimenting him on the recording are the stunning Linda Eder and the equally gifted Christiane Noll.
I was introduced to that recording the way I am introduced to many things, the person offering was appealing to my ego. “You should consider doing Jekyll & Hyde. You’d be perfect for it,” was the advice of the young lady who suggested I listen to her copy of the Broadway recording.
Telling me I’m perfect for something is a great way to butter me up. I agreed to listen to the album.
Taking nothing away from my friends who used to sing the score between shows, Robert Cuccioli opened my eyes to the brilliance of composer Frank Wildhorn’s music and the nuances of the characters.
I had the great pleasure of performing songs from Jekyll & Hyde in concert appearances over the years. I have Robert Cuccioli to thank for that. His talent showed me the potential of those Wildhorn songs, and instilled in me a desire to live up to the standards he set.
Now I have something else to be thankful to Mr. Cuccioli for. On Friday, February 12th my radio program It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee will feature an interview with this amazing Broadway star. We are scheduled to discuss how he got his start in theatre, his Broadway debut as Javert in Les Misérables, and of course the process for developing the characters of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde.
We will also take time to discuss his current project: a virtual on-screen production of Eugene O’Neal’s A Touch of the Poet being presented by Irish Repertory Theatre on February 12th and 16th. Visit: www.IrishRep.org.
Robert Cuccioli is the type of performer all young actors should try to emulate – always dedicated to improving his craft and always willing to take on new challenges. Ever evolving, Mr. Cuccioli is now an award-winning director as well.
I have had the great honor of interviewing several of the stars that I idolize. Robert Cuccioli is certainly one of them.
I hope you will join me on Feb 12th at 3 PM Central for my interview with Mr. Cuccioli. It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee airs out of Chicago’s Huntley suburb on 101.5 FM. Those outside of broadcast range can stream the show for free by going to www.HuntleyRadio.com and selecting the Listen Live icon.
For details on Robert Cuccioli’s performing and directing careers visit www.RobertCuccioli.com.
Peace. Love. Trust.
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