Nothing but good in ‘Jekyll & Hyde’
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 15:09
Good versus evil takes to The Stage at Island Park in “Jekyll & Hyde,” a musical adaptation of the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. Scintillating songs, witty one-liners and crazy characters make up the perfect plot amid two acts of exciting musical entertainment.
Not a moment is wasted in telling Dr. Henry Jekyll’s tale of transformation and later tailspin into tragedy. Determined to discover the cure for his father’s nervous disease, he desperately desires a subject to test his theory on separating the good and evil in man. Jekyll’s repeated requests to test his experiments meet nothing but rejections from the board of governors. This leaves him with only one option: to test his experiment on himself.
By the end of the first act, Edward Hyde, Jekyll’s evil alter ego, is born. The terrible transformation creates nothing but trouble for Jekyll, who alternates between himself and Hyde very frequently. Jekyll’s impending marriage to the governor’s daughter Emma only worsens the situation, as does Lucy, a hooker with a heart of gold who Jekyll becomes romantically entangled with.
Jekyll’s transformations into Hyde lead to mayhem, murder, and eventually his own destruction. The wedding of Jekyll and Emma rounds off the stunning performance, but not before it shocks the audience with its most startling and emotional scene.
The transition from book to musical was done very well with this story. The songs ring true every time, as do the voices behind them. Actor Craig A. Ellingson rarely falters in his vocal performances as both Jekyll and Hyde. “The Confrontation,” a back-and-forth “duet” between the scientist and his evil counterpart, might just be Ellingson’s most memorable song. Leaving perhaps an even larger impression is Lucy’s (golden-voiced Kathy Hanson) silly little ditty “Bring on the Men,” which has echoes of a 1920s speakeasy.
Opening the second act is a heart-pounding rendition of “Murder, Murder” that includes the entire cast. Hanson and Angie Schulz lend their voices as Jekyll’s love interests and come together for a duet that warms the hardest of hearts with “In His Eyes.” Interspersed between these and the many other tunes is the creepy reprise “Façade.” A recording in the background provides the perfect music for the actors to inject the well-crafted (though sometimes slightly predictable) lyrics.
The exceptional songs and well-written plot come together for quite an entertaining show, one that will leave you with a smile and never a dull moment.
Jekyll & Hyde runs at The Stage at Island Park from Sept. 13-15 at 7:30 p.m., and has a Sunday matinees on Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students, $15 for seniors and $20 for adults.