Back in mid-June, the cast and crew of the Minnesota Showboat Players were ready for a full summer of performances of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
along the Mississippi riverside in St. Paul. They got through a pair of previews and opening night and then...
The deluge that has affected so much of Minnesota scuttled the full start of the run
, as the waters on the Mississippi made getting to the venue dangerous.
"It was like giving a starving dog a bone and then taking it away," says director Peter Moore of the postponement. "It has made it hard, because the audiences were so enthusiastic."
The Showboat hopes to relaunch the run this weekend, as the waters of the river subside on Harriett Island and services like sewer and power are restored.
Moore has largely been on the sideline during the delay, but the cast, made up entirely of University of Minnesota students, has been hard at work promoting the show wherever they can. This has included on food trucks, in skyways, and along the light-rail lines. They've even done a bit of singing along the way to help keep the performances in everyone's mind.
Moore and the cast held a brush-up rehearsal this week. "Hopefully, we will put it all together and we will open in a couple of days," he says.
This delay is a first for the veteran director. He has been involved in shows affected by the weather in the past -- he spent several seasons at the outdoor Utah Shakespearean Festival -- but those were only periodic delays.
The production features an older script based on Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, and was, in fact, the first show produced at the new Showboat in 2002.
"I've trimmed it a bit to keep things moving," Moore says.
Along with the melodrama, complete with onstage transformations, the show also features musical interludes, or olios, that are selected and directed by Vern Sutton.
"Vern said it is the best singing cast he's had," Moore says.
Hopefully, they'll be able to show that to everyone by the weekend.
IF YOU GO:
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (with Musical Olios)
Through Aug. 16
Minnesota Centennial Showboat, Harriet Island Road, St. Paul
For tickets, more information and confirmation that that the show has resumed its run, call 651.227.1100 or visit online.
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200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd., St. Paul, MN