Magazine article Variety

My First Time in Variety

Magazine article Variety

My First Time in Variety

Article excerpt

May 3, 1999

`Jekyll and Hyde"

Kelli O'Hara, who just opened on Broadway in "The King and I," first gained mention in Variety in the 1999 national tour of Frank Wildhorn's "Jekyll and Hyde," where she moved from understudy to lead, then segued to the Broadway production. In the 16 years since then, she's earned five Tony nominations - and, as she points out, has seen the world of theater change radically, timcray

Had you read this review?

No, so it was fun to read now. I have very positive feelings about that tour. We were treated very well, and some of my best friends are from then.

What was your audition like?

Jason Howland, who's now the musical director on "Beautiful" on Broadway, was Frank Wildhorn's righthand man. I owe Jason a lot. It was an audition for a pop musical, but I came in with something from an operetta. I got a callback, which was actually a work session with Jason, who coached me. He saw I could do more of a pop feel; he would say, "Can you do this? Can you try this?" Jason worked a lot with me, and gave me a chance.

What's the best career advice you got?

My teacher (from Oklahoma City U.) Florence Birdwell was my mentor. "Jekyll & Hyde" was a pop musical, and I was trying to fit into that, singing in a way that didn't feel comfortable. …

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