|Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox. Photo: Chris Bennion|
Music by Frank Wildhorn
Book and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Directed and Choreographed by Jeff Calhoun
What's It All About?
The revival of that adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale about Doctor Henry Jekyll ("American Idol" finalist Constantie Maroulis) who uses himself as a guinea pig to find a cure for the dark side of human nature. Victorian society scoffs at his attempts to help those they would rather hide in asylums, so Jekyll becomes the test case for his own experiments. His potions unleash his alter-self, the cruel Edward Hyde who preys on prostitutes and fights with Henry to win control of his body. The laboratory is colorful, but ridiculous in nature. Tobin Cost designs it and the rest of the fractured looking sets that reflect the shattered nature of Henry's soul and designs the costumes as well. Unaware of the split personality overtaking Jekyll are his fiancee, Emma Carew (Teal Wicks) and Lucy Harris (Deborah Cox), the prostitute kind Henry befriends after she is forced to endure brutality by his Hyde self.
What are the Highlights?
What a treat to hear the lovely Wildhorn score on stage again. It birthed a number of classic tunes like "This is the Moment," "Take Me As I Am," and the show-stopping "A New Life." Anyone who has listened to the original Broadway cast recordings or the two concept albums that preceded it a few thousand times and are wondering whether anyone but Linda Eder can do Lucy's songs justice stop worrying. Cox, a Grammy nominated R&B artist, does them wonderfully. "Someone Like You" is truly beautiful. David Benoit stands out in the minor role of Spider, the repulsive owner of the dive where Lucy and the other girls of the night make their living.
What are the Lowlights?
Calhoun doesn't seem to urge Maroulis beyond singing for his old television competition crowd. Every song is delivered to evoke applause. Portraying the characters of Jekyll and Hyde (he does a better job with this one) gets put on a back burner. For the song "Confrontation," usually performed by the actor morphing back and forth between his good and bad selves, the task gets eliminated completely. . In a big let down, Jekyll simply sings a duet with a projected image of Hyde (Daniel Brodie does the projection design -- loved the image he creates for Hyde Park, by the way). Also disappointing is Wicks as Emma. She comes off as uppity and is much too harsh. We almost understand Henry's desire to yield to the dark side. And what's up with the sound (Ken Travis, design). It's way too loud and the mix is off.
Jekyll & Hyde runs through June 30 at the Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway, NYC. Tickets and info: http://www.jekyllandhydemusical.com/.
Christians might also like to know:
-- Sexual actions
-- The show doesn't post a Mature Advisory, but I would suggest it should have one. It's dark, mature material.