Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Deborah Cox Adds Soul To Jekyll & Hyde

Juno Award winner Deborah Cox comes home to Toronto with the touring production of Jekyll & Hyde The Musical before the show heads to Broadway next year. Known more to her gay fans for her dance floor anthems, the talented performer has also been concentrating on theatre and film roles over the past several years. The singer of Nobody's Supposed To Be Here and Absolutely Not (among other hits) recently took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with me about her career, her family and her life.

Gay Theatre Toronto

Your Toronto fans are thrilled that you are coming home even for a short while. Do you still have a connection to the city?

Deborah Cox

Yes, most of my family still live in Toronto. I try to get back when I can, mainly around Christmas. I am excited that Jekyll is coming to the Ed Mirvish Theatre. I have done Aida on Broadway but to do Jekyll & Hyde in my hometown goes beyond words.


I saw Jekyll & Hyde in Manchester, England a few years ago and I have to say that it is one of my favourite stage musicals of all time. What attracted you to the project and to the role of Lucy?


I was approached by the producer to play the role of Lucy. I, unlike you, have never seen any of the other productions so it was all new to me. I was first hooked by the songs and after reading the script, I thought playing Lucy would be much different from anything else that I have ever done. Even though she was so unlike me, I totally understood her and wanted to give her a voice from my perspective. I met with the director, Jeff Calhoun and composer, Frank Wildhorn and they were very supportive in allowing me the freedom to take some chances. I must say that working with Constantine (Maroulis) and the incredible cast is also a treat. Everyone lays it on the line at every performance. They are the best!


Beautiful U R (Deborah's 10th #1 hit on the US Dance chart) was such an empowering song for women. You juggle recording, performing and motherhood to name just a few things. Any advice for the working parents out there on how to balance career and home life?


I wouldn't necessarily try to give advice here because everyone's situation and variables are unique. What I have tried to do is to stay focused on the things that I am passionate about. Being a working mom in the entertainment business is no walk in the park. On stage you have to be everything to everyone. At home, the responsibilities of being a parent are enormous. It's definitely not easy but I love the challenge. It's still a work in progress!


I have to ask this question for the Whitney Houston fans. As a young singer, you were discovered by Clive Davis in a similar fashion to Whitney and the two of you later recorded a duet (Same Script, Different Cast) for her Greatest Hits disc. How did her passing affect you and do you think we can learn anything from such a tragic loss?


When Clive signed me to Arista, that was a turning point in my life. Singing that duet with Whitney was a dream come true! The Whitney I knew is not the one often depicted in the media these days but my memories of her will live on forever. What I've learned is to treasure every moment, live in the present and don't take life and those whom you love for granted. I was in Hamilton for a benefit show (when Whitney died) and I was getting ready to go on stage. I remember thinking that there was no way I was going to make it through my performance without breaking down. I had to find a way to sing through the pain. 


Jekyll & Hyde is heading to Broadway after the tour. Will you have any time at all to record any new music? Is there anything in the works on that front that you can tell us about?


I am always recording new songs. I am working on a new R&B project which is almost done. I had to stop to focus on the play but I intend to have it done by March and hopefully have a release date shortly (there)after. I have a couple of dance singles that are coming out later this month, Remember Me (From The Ghetto) with George Vector and Higher with Paige.


Remember Me (From The Ghetto) was released today. Here's a sound bite...


And a preview of Higher...

 Deborah stars with Constantine Maroulis in Jekyll & Hyde The Musical.


Jekyll & Hyde runs November 14th to 18th at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. Tickets at mirvish.com.


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