‘Hyde’ and shriek 

Teal Wicks has it easy in Jekyll & Hyde — and not just because, unlike the musical’s star, she doesn’t have to fill two roles.

No, playing Dr. Jekyll’s fiancée in the current national tour is a breeze because she’s not required to carry every scene. The actress spent the better part of 2011 being green, playing the lead of witch Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway.

“When I was doing Wicked, I was kind of isolated from the cast the entire time, which is sort of the nature of the character,” Wicks said, whereas now, “I have a lot more time, which is nice. I love my role, but I don’t have to base my whole day around the show. It’s a little freeing.”

Beginning Tuesday for eight performances at Civic Center Music Hall, Jekyll & Hyde represents darker fare for the California native, whose brief career in theater thus far includes such sunny shows as Carousel, Pippin and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Wicks relishes the change.

“I really like darker musicals,” she said. “I love all musicals, but Sweeney Todd and Cabaret are two of my favorites. I like that world. The music is always interesting and complex with lots of dissonant chords. My life has been lovely with lots of joy and happiness in it, so maybe I like to balance that with a darker side onstage.”

Based on the classic 1886 horror novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, Jekyll & Hyde is that indeed.

“It’s a Gothic tale with some real heart in it and some sexy stuff going on,” Wicks said. “It’s kind of like a rock show, and just a fun, dark, little ride. There’s some murder happening in our show. We have a song called ‘Murder, Murder’ — you have to expect some of that.”

Doing the dispatching as Hyde is Tony and Grammy nominee Constantine Maroulis, an American Idol fourth-season finalist. Acting opposite him as the female lead is R&B singer Deborah Cox, with 11 No. 1 Billboard hits to her name.

Would Wicks — who released an EP, You Never Heard My Song, on iTunes in 2011 — like to follow in their pop-charting footsteps?

“I used to dream of being in a band and being a rock star. It'd be nice to fulfill some of that,” she said. “I'm hoping that somewhere in the near future, I'll be able to tackle that a bit.”

But for now, it’s all Jekyll, all the time, as the production sets up shop on Broadway in April.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a nice, long run in New York and then ... I don’t know,” Wicks said. “That’s as far as I can really see, which is really nice.”

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Rod Lott

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