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Review of Luba Mason's final performance: Here

From InTheater Magazine Issue 57
Someone Like Her

"I always wanted to star on Broadway," says Luba Mason. "That’s been my dream ever since I can remember." The Palisades, NY native recently took over for Linda Eder in the hit musical Jekyll & Hyde. After more than 10 years of smaller roles, most notably as Hedy La Rue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1995), and most recently in the ill-fated Capeman, this, it would seem, is Mason’s moment.

"Hedy was my breakthrough," she says of her performance as the blonde bombshell/cigarette girl working her way up to be a secretary. "Then Capeman was really a wonderful thing because I played a mother in mourning, dowdy and depressed."

Now she’s Lucy, the sultry prostitute with an unfortunate attraction for Mr. Hyde. "The last three things I’ve done are really quite different," Mason says with some understatement.

Despite her versatile résumé (or perhaps because of it), she initially had a hard time being seen for Jekyll & Hyde. "I had read that Linda was leaving, [but] my agent said he just couldn’t get me an audition. So I lobbied. I wrote letters, I made phone calls. I’m not quite sure how I got in, but I finally got a slot."

Before long, she found herself nervously facing the show’s director, Robin Phillips, and composer Frank Wildhorn. "I was really scared," Mason confides. "[Wildhorn] sat there with his baseball cap, poker faced. I had learned five songs, and he had me sing one. Then, without any other comment, he named the next song he wanted me to sing. I sang it. Then he announced the third song he wanted me to sing, which was ‘A New Life.’ It’s a very long and very demanding song. After I sang that, he went, ‘Well, that separates the men from the boys.’ Then he just laughed. And I thought, ‘Okay, he liked it.’ I knew I did well."

If Mason feels any trepidation about replacing someone who is not only the composer’s wife but has built a passionate following in the role, she’s not showing it. She does, however, admit to being a little taken aback by the coterie of fans known as Jekkies. "Even before I opened, they were stopping me outside of the theater saying, ‘We hear you’re taking over the role,’" she marvels. "They were naming my credits. But they’ve embraced me, which is really wonderful. And I’ve heard that everything about me on the show’s website is positive. This is another good thing."
---By Andy Buck


A Broadway review about Luba in Jekyll and Hyde:

Luba Mason was extremely effective as Lucy Harris, the prostitute who crosses paths with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She has both a deft flair for comedy and a certain sauciness when she is on her own "turf" in the Red Rat brothel. Yet, she also shows vulnerability and uncertainty when meeting Dr. Jekyll in his home. Her voice is strong, pleasant to the ear and well suited to her character, evidenced by her renditions of "Someone Like You" and "A New Life". Though, following Linda Eder, Mason had large shoes to fill, she is a charming new addition to the cast.


From Goodspeed Musicals- 1997 hit Lucky In The Rain at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut:

This show has so many great performers that it is impossible to name them individually. If you like the `1920 music you probably will be entertained by this talented cast. The music is all 1920's and the orchestration by Michael O'Flaherty was impressive. I have to mention Luba Mason who played Isadora Duncan--she was excellent, especially in the scenes with Patrick Wilson. Loved her Costumes!! I could go on for another ten pages to explain that this show is worth the trip to Connecticut!. Its playing now ..I don't know if its Broadway bound--but who knows.? Great Night Out!!!

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