By David Vandygriff
As the Halloween season is upon us, we find Jekyll & Hyde a wonderful addition to the good versus evil to add to this spooky season.
Jekyll & Hyde is a tale of two men – one, a doctor, passionate and romantic; the other, a terrifying madman – and two women – one, beautiful and trusting; the other, beautiful and trusting only herself. Both women are in love with the same man, and both are unaware of his dark secret. While trying to find a cure for his father’s mental illness, Dr. Jekyll makes himself the subject of his experimental treatments and accidentally unleashes his dark side. Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson, this musical brings to life the epic struggle about the nature of man.
Dr. Henry Jekyll (Justin Murphy) was amazing in his work of two different 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. We sat in awe of Murphy’s performance in “Confrontation” as the simplicity of the change but yet the change of voice and hair made us do double takes.
Lucy Harris (Jessie Booth) drew the audience in and captivated our attention from the beginning to the end. We all were drawn to Lucy’s character and felt sympathy. Her voice was the thing that first draws the audience into the play but yet we found ourselves feeling how she felt as she stunned us with her singing voice that gives one a moment of pause and reflections into your life when we might have been less than to some people in this world.
Emma Carew (Traci Bair) lends the play it’s comedic tone and sass. Our favorite part was Bair’s duet with Booth in “In His Eyes” which drew the audience’s sympathy.
The Ensemble was great as normal! They help the audience to determine the scenes. Some of the best ensemble performances were “Lost In the Darkness”, “Façade”, and “Murder, Murder.”
Jekyll & Hyde was an amazing dark and suspenseful play. We caught self’s wide-eyed at times. The production is suspenseful but not horrifying to the audience. The show will be performed now through November 24.