Actress says ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ has twists, turns

“Jekyll and Hyde” may be a classic work of American musical theater according to Laura Helm, but it’
Laura Helm plays Lucy in 'Jekyl & Hyde,' coming to Proctors in Schenectady on Saturday.
Laura Helm plays Lucy in 'Jekyl & Hyde,' coming to Proctors in Schenectady on Saturday.

“Jekyll and Hyde” may be a classic work of American musical theater according to Laura Helm, but it’s also not your typical Broadway show.

“There’s a leading man and the love interest like most musicals, but then the show takes a whole different turn,” said Helm, who plays Lucy in the national touring production of “Jekyll and Hyde,” coming to Proctors for one performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

“It’s a nice story with a love triangle, but when my character gets introduced things change. There are a lot of twists and turns.”

A California native and longtime resident of the Boston area, Helm has been with this tour since the show started rehearsals in Minnesota on Sept. 9. Performances began on Sept. 24, and the tour will conclude Sunday with a performance at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

The musical was written by Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn and staged for the first time in Houston in 1990. It made its Broadway debut in 1997, with Linda Eder performing as Lucy, and earned four Tony Award nominations.

‘Jekyll and Hyde’

WHERE: Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday

HOW MUCH: $75-$20

MORE INFO: 346-6204,

The musical bears little resemblance to the book written by Robert Louis Stevenson back in 1883, except for the conflict between good and evil.

“When my agent told me I had an appointment for an audition I was ecstatic,” remembered Helm.

“I was working with an ’80s rock show in Manchester, New Hampshire, and I was so lucky because my schedule worked out so I could drive to New York on a Wednesday and then drive back for a call-back. My parents have always been supportive of my career, but my mother actually drove both times to New York and back so I could sleep in the car.”

In “Jekyll and Hyde,” Lucy plays a dancer who becomes entangled with Edward Hyde, the darker half of Dr. Henry Jekyll.

“When people meet me after the show they say, ‘you play the bad girl,’ ” said Helm, who splits time between New York City and her parents’ home in Southboro, Massachusetts.

“But when she meets Jekyll, she does start to see the good side of life. She’s someone who’s been kicked down, but then the audience gets into the whole tug of war in her life, and they want her to come out on top.”

Playing the role originated by Eder is also a big thrill for Helm.

“She’s always been someone I really looked up to,” Helm said. “She’s had the kind of career I would love to have. I’ve always sung, in the church choir or at school, and I was also always acting in theater. I told my parents when I was 10 that I wanted to be an actor, and they said, ‘Ok, let’s do it.’ ”

early ambitions

Helm may be familiar to Capital Region theater fans. Since graduating from the Hart School of Music at the University of Hartford in 2012, she’s spent three summers working at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham.

“I started at Mac-Haydn five days after I graduated,” remembered Helm, who most recently played Elizabeth in the 2014 production of “Young Frankenstein.”

“I’ve been working very consistently since I graduated, and ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ has been a wonderful experience for me. It’s an amazing pop-rock classical musical that’s known throughout the world, and to be a part of it is great.”

Reach Gazette reporter Bill Buell at 395-3190 or [email protected].

Categories: Entertainment

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