Meet Dr. Jekyll (& Mr. Hyde)!

Posted by: wbtpress on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 10:31:00 am

 Xander Chauncey , as the Star of JEKYLL & HYDE will be breaking more hearts than just Emma & Lucy's ...With his piercing eyes, gorgeous locks...and that mesmerizing voice...Ladies Beware! I caught up with him at rehearsal and asked him to reveal some tid bits.....Read on!


I was an Army brat, so I grew up all over the place. We would usually be stationed at a particular base for a few years and then move on to the next. I relished the opportunity to see so much of the world, but it was tough to leave friends so often and quickly. When I was young, I had a rich imaginary life, friends and all. Maybe Hyde isn't such a stretch. Both of my parents were performers. My father is a popular recording artist in Chile and my mother was a ballroom dancer and operatic mezzo-soprano, so performing was just part of who we were. My step-father, the military man, taught me the discipline and structure necessary for the business part of Show Business.
Being the gypsies that we were, I had to learn to adapt quickly to different surroundings, dialects, customs, languages, etc. From a very young age, I became fascinated with people; all the little strange details that, when strung together, become this enigma we call "personality." I loved to do impersonations. Not just of celebrities, but of the guy at the bakery, the mailman, my second-grade teacher (one of my best performances-earned me a trip to the Principal's office.) I began to see a connection between my odd voyeurism and incredible Actor/Chameleons in a film like Gary Oldman, Kevin Spacey, Daniel Day-Lewis and Johnny Depp. I never cease to be amazed by how selfless their acting is. Sometimes, you're halfway through a film and it suddenly hits you, "Oh my God, that's Gary Oldman?!" I believe that is why acting is unique among all other art forms: excellence is clandestine. When you hear Yo-Yo Ma play or watch Baryshnikov float effortlessly across the stage, their lifetime of training and sacrifice is undeniably evident. When you witness truly excellent acting, however, it is barely unrecognizable. You just accept that what you are seeing is the reality, yet it can be one of the most moving experiences.


I was a Junior in high school and someone lent me the concept album with Anthony Warlow as Jekyll. I was immediately hooked. I actually did the song "Confrontation" for the state thespian competition and won Best of Show!! The next year, while in NYC, I sat in the front row and watched Bob Cuccioli play Jekyll and Hyde. I was absolutely transfixed. I met him at the stage door after the show and, starstruck, got his autograph. This is the first time that I have done the show, though it has enjoyed a long run in my shower.


I'm a big fan of the off-center musicals like Urinetown, [Title of Show] and Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson. I like any show that takes risks and challenges the preconceived notions of what is possible or appropriate on stage. Also, pretty much anything by Sondheim; he's just freakin' brilliant.

I'm kind of an adrenaline junkie. I love to rock climb, white water raft, play paintball, stuff like that. Lately, I've really gotten into parkour or free-running. It's really just a fancy name for going out and playing the way we did when we were kids. Running, climbing trees, flipping off of rocks in
Central Park... just moving non-stop and completely improvisationally. I'm also a voracious reader; my Kindle is a constant companion.


On my iPod? Just about everything. A lot of musical theatre (obviously), Opera, Classic Rock, Alternative, everything The Beatles and Regina Spektor ever released, even some Country and Rap. To quote Kate Hudson in Almost Famous, "Good tunes is Good tunes."


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