by Jordan Higginbotham
Oct. 27, 2019
Do you love musicals? Do you love true crime? Do you love insanity? Well, do I have the show for you! Jekyll and Hyde opened at the Alhambra Theatre and Dining and audiences were in awe. This is not a show where you will hear those laughing throughout the theatre, but more gasps of entertainment, horror, and applause for the talent. Jekyll and Hyde follows Dr. Henry, a doctor committed to his research. So much so that he becomes the subject of his own experiment. He is on a mission to eliminate evil from the world. As he concocts his “chemicals” to eliminate evil, something goes terribly wrong. Dr Jekyll develops an evil and murderous personality named Edward Hyde, on the hunt for those who denied him the opportunity to conduct his experiment the proper way, i.e. not on himself. The show is astonishing and captivating and filled with immense talent!
Dr. Henry Jekyll (Justin Murphy) was so passionate about his work. Anyone who is passionate about their careers could easily observe it in this character. It is also extremely important to mention that Murphy was playing not one, but two characters! As a theatre fan, I had seen some photos of previous companies from all over have where the actors have almost a split physical appearance. However, as theatre fans appreciate in Hamilton, a mere change from a ponytail to his hair completely down distinguished the character physically. Murphy was fantastic switching between Dr. Jekyll and Edward Hyde. His best performance was certainly “Confrontation” as the two personalities argue between one another as to who will live and who shall die.
Lucy Harris (Jessie Booth) was also incredible! She was very captivating. The audience knew what kind of character she was and felt immense sympathy for her. Not only was her acting incredible, she was a great dancer. “Bring on the Men” was so intricately choreographed. I was impressed with all of the actresses in this scene, but Booth never missed a beat! She also had a wonderful performance in “Someone Like You.”
The fiancée of Dr. Jekyll, Emma Carew (Traci Bair) was the sassy, (somewhat) comedic relief the show needed. Bair portrayed the character as someone who knows what she wants and will not settle for less. As the character becomes frustrated with her fiancée, the audience could truly feel sympathy for her because she felt in the dark from someone she truly loved. I enjoyed Bair’s duet with Booth in “In His Eyes” very much.
As always, the ensemble was fantastic! They really helped distinguish scenes, as well as how everyone feels about Dr. Jekyll. Little did they know what was in store for them by being his adversary. Some of the best ensemble performances were “Lost In the Darkness”, “Façade”, and “Murder, Murder.”
Jekyll and Hyde was a wonderfully engaging, dark, and suspenseful. I noticed myself holding my breath a few times. It should be noted, the show is not terrifying, but most definitely suspenseful. The show will be performed at the Alhambra now through November 24.