R&B singer-turned-actress DEBORAH COX is struggling to deal with life away from her three young children as she performs in Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde.

The star signed up to portray brothel worker Lucy opposite Constantine Maroulis, who pulls double duty as both Jekyll and Hyde, and the show began previews on the New York stage last Friday (05Apr13) after a 25-week U.S. tour.

Cox admits she fell in love with the role as soon as she read the script, but taking on the job wasn't an easy decision and she has found it tough to spend so much time away from her husband and kids at home in Florida.

She tells the Associated Press, "That was the hardest thing when I made the decision to go out on the road: it would mean not being with them the way I want to. It was a tough time."

However, Cox insists the part is "a dream come true" and even the challenging tour schedule has had its benefits: "It really tests your faith and your decision-making. But it makes you better. I'm a better performer because of it. I can handle anything now, I think. We thugged it out, and grinded it out (worked hard). And now we're here...

"(I was) looking for a great project to sink my teeth into and here comes Jekyll & Hyde. How often does a role like this come up? For a black woman that doesn't deal with race? That just deals with a woman falling in love? That gets to sing incredible songs every night? It's a dream come true."

The new revival of Jekyll & Hyde runs at the Marquis Theatre until June (13).