Duluth ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ production a family affairIt’s not often that you hear the words “gothic,” “philanthropic doctor” and “musical” in the same sentence. Talking to director Sheryl Jensen about her upcoming project, “Jekyll & Hyde, the Musical,” you might just hear them pop up once or twice.
By: Sarah Alabsi, Duluth Budgeteer News
It’s not often that you hear the words “gothic,” “philanthropic doctor” and “musical” in the same sentence.
Talking to director Sheryl Jensen about her upcoming project, “Jekyll & Hyde, the Musical,” at Harbor City International Theatre, you might just hear them pop up once or twice.
Jensen is putting on one of her favorite theatre pieces, an opportunity she says she wouldn’t have without the help of Lundeen Productions.
“I wanted to do some independent theatre, and working with Lundeen gave me freedom to choose the show I wanted and choose when I do it,” Jensen said.
Jensen promises that “Jekyll & Hyde” will be a show unlike any audiences have ever seen.
“We’re trying to give it an edgy look,” Jensen said. “We’ll have some steampunk costume pieces. I’ve always wanted to do it and I have the right people right now. … You don’t see a gothic musical thriller very often.”
The costumes aren’t the only things that make this production unique.
The play will feature three family partnerships: a family of four, two brothers, and a grandmother and granddaughter. The entire Madill Hagen family — husband and wife Dustin Hagen and Jennifer Madill Hagen and their sons Cooper and Tanner — will be acting. Brothers Deven and Derek Bromme will be appearing, with Deven acting and Derek playing the trombone and appearing in the ensemble. Grandmother Pattie Pitoscia and granddaughter Hailey Pitoscia will be acting alongside each other as well.
For Hailey Pitoscia, the idea of her grandmother performing as well was not expected.
“At first, it was just me,” said Pitoscia. “My first day of practice,
Sheryl asked my grandma if she would do the show. She’s a tap dancer.”
The Madill Hagen family all work at the Madill Performing Arts Center, owned by Jennifer and Dustin. This is the first time they have all acted together, though.
“It is so much fun working with my wife and two boys,” said Dustin, who will be playing the male lead Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde opposite wife Jennifer, who will be choreographing the show as well as playing the female lead Lucy Harris.
“We are having a blast and the kids are learning so much, which I love,” said Madill Hagen.
Ken Ahlberg, vocal director at the Hermantown schools, will be directing the music, along with acting. Kirby Wood will be appearing in the ensemble as well as playing the trumpet for the nine-piece orchestra. When they are not needed on stage, they’ll be performing in the pit.
“I try to make use of people’s talents to keep them involved in the show,” Jensen said.
Science fans may be in for a surprise when they see “Jekyll & Hyde.” Scenes including Dr. Jekyll’s experiments will feature special effects brought to life with a little help from East High School chemistry teacher Cindy Grindy.
“The audience will get to see some bubbling and brewing with this show,” Jensen told the Budgeteer.
“Jekyll & Hyde” will be the third theatre production through the partnership of Jensen and Tracy Lundeen of Lundeen Productions.
“(Lundeen) is a producer in town I met through an article I wrote for “The Woman Today” magazine on the Women’s Expo at the DECC,” Jensen said.
“I told him I wanted to do some independent theatre.”
Jensen said working with Lundeen Productions has given her more autonomy over her plays.
“He gave me the freedom to choose the show I wanted, and to choose when I do it,” she said. “It’s unique and the voices are spectacular. We’re looking forward to having a good time at Harbor City.”
Opening night of “Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical” is July 11. For tickets and more information, visit lundeenproductions.com or call (218)727-1177.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Jekyll & Hyde, the Musical”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m., July 11-13, 17-20, 24-27
WHERE: Harbor City International Theater, 332 W. Michigan St.
TICKETS: $15-25, available in advance at jekyllhyde.brownpapertickets.com