Stories & Cast Interviews
Ready for Rob Richardson??
On Broadway: A Tale of Two Cities (Ensemble, Sydney Carton u/s). National Tours: Showboat (Ravenal) and 1776 (Rutledge). Favorite Regional: The Full Monty (Reg/Jerry u/s, Paper Mill Playhouse), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (The Beast, Walnut Street Theatre) A Funny Thing Happened... (Miles Gloriosus, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Oklahoma! (Curly, Cherry County Playhouse), Kiss Me, Kate (Fred/Petruchio, Flat Rock Playhouse) and 110 in the Shade (Starbuck, the Mac-Haydn Theatre).
Benjamin is a dream (& a nightmare!)
Benjamin McHugh has been evoking cheers and jeers during performances of Jekyll & Hyde. As the alternate for Jekyll & Hyde...the Aussie star has had to jump in on a moment's notice... read on!
I'm originally from Adelaide, South Australia. When I was 14, my family moved from Australia to Auckland, New Zealand where I finished my high school years. While I was there, the school had a very strong music department and every year they would have a mid-year musical. During my final year, they held auditions for Grease. I had no intention of performing, but was really interested in lighting - so I went along and asked if I could be the lighting operator. The director said "sure - but why don't you audition anyway and see how you go?". So I did and I ended up landing the part of Danny Zuko that John Travolta made famous! With absolutely no acting, singing or dancing experience I went on. It was hilariously bad but I had the best time and the seed was definitely planted for my love for this industry.
My friend Noelle Berry wrote to me telling me about the auditions coming up. She was part of the Westchester cast of J&H from 2001 and couldn't stop talking about how much she loved the show, loved working with Bob Cuccioli and thought I would be perfect in it. I'd never done the show before, but I got really excited about the opportunity to work with Bob and sing the score. When I found out I was the Jekyll & Hyde understudy, I was thrilled!
Going on for the first time last week was like nothing I had ever experienced. The role is huge and very intimidating and I had only 2 hours rehearsal! It was an incredible time. We managed to get through it - JUST. Luckily, we have an amazingly talented and supportive cast and crew that helped me through every step of that first show. The best part of my first show was when at the end of "The Way Back" during the transformation, I tried to pull the hair-tie out and instead my entire wig was off my head and on the floor in front of me! Ahhhh... Live Theatre! Nailed it! It has been amazing since. I can't say enough about the incredible cast and crew I work with.
Jennifer Babiak is breathtaking as Emma Carew, Dr. Jekyll's fiancee. Read on to see what she's up to when she's not wowing the crowds!
I started singing first, My Grandma was a piano teacher and her father was a composer, so we have always had a very musical family. Once I started singing lessons at 16, I auditioned for the school musical and that was it for me! My mentor probably would be my first acting teacher Jack Allison, an incredible man, teacher, director and friend.
The gorgeous & tlented Michelle Dawson plays the tortured Lucy in Jekyll & Hyde.....read on!
I grew up in a little town, Charlotte, Vermont. It's just outside of Burlington. A red brick farmhouse.I was a lucky girl. I have a sister. I was born in Rutland.
I was a "horse gal". I showed horses my whole childhood until college. My mother and I would travel all over the East coast. It was a huge part of my life until the music theatre bug hit me.
I studied voice at the age of 15 and Piano for 9 years. I got most of my experience before college at the community theatre, the "Lyric Theatre" in Burlington.
I met a man there who taught me so much about the theatre. He had gone to Carnegie –Mellon (Carnegie-Tech at the time)and after that, there was no other college choice for me but that school! I was determined to go there! Hard to pinpoint why acting/singing was my destiny...It just was, no choice!
I did Jekyll &Hyde with Bob Cuccioli 9 years ago here at the WBT, and also with Bob at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Here I am again. I love the show! I love Bob! I love WBT!
It’s always hard for me to pick a favorite show or dream role....I do have to say I just love characters that have a dark life, with that heart of gold and the struggles along the way. Or, roles that just have a complicated life.... when it comes to a favorite show, I do love J&H. I love the music and the romance!!! Lucy holds a special place in my heart. Favorite shows tend to be the last show I did...maybe because so much research and time in the journey happens....which was Mamma Mia! I was lucky enough to play two amazing roles, Tanya and Donna. Both are fantastic roles! Tanya and her fiery, fierce, sexy, fun, comedic self and Donna, the single, hardworking mom and her incredible journey throughout the show.
When not on stage I love to spend time with my 6-year-old son and my hubby. Family time, Eating, Jogging!
No iPod, sorry! I love all kinds of music, Truly!