No one wants to spend a Friday night at school, but this last weekend was an exception.
I attended the Grand Theatre production of “Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical.” The musical was adapted by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn from Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
The talented Dr. Jekyll attempts to find a cure for his mad father and erroneously allows the “evil” personality in himself to manifest as the psychotic Mr. Hyde, a bent and broken maniac who terrorizes London by moonlight. As Jekyll devolves, the women in his life — his fiancee, Emma, and a local prostitute, Lucy — begin to feel the effects in their relationships with the mad scientist.
Tyler Brignone’s interpretation of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde is mesmerizing and distressingly convincing. Liz Terry entrances audiences as Lucy Harris, giving an authentic portrayal of the desperate prostitute who wishes for a savior and a better life.
This struggle for control between the best and worst of one man is executed on a giant set, which doubles as the interior of homes and streets of row houses in London. The set’s shapes and painted, intricate details establish a somber tone for the show, and fits the epic story being told in a time where a brutish monster could cross your path in the dark night.
The lighting of the Grand Theatre itself was upgraded for the play, and it showed; bold and flashy colors communicate the mood perfectly. Costume changes were impressively frequent and clearly facilitated the movement of time during the two-hour performance.
Director Anne Stewart Mark’s clear vision of the musical translates to an excellent performance on stage. The performances of each cast member were strong and diligent, however the accents of the cast were somewhat inconsistent. This fails to detract from the performance too much. The actors successfully weave a tale that hooks the audience, leading to hope for a happily-ever-after outcome that can never happen.
Seth Miller, artistic and executive director for the Grand Theatre, acknowledges in the “Jekyll & Hyde” program that the theatre recently installed new carpet and added architectural lighting. The changes are subtle but pleasing and add to the atmosphere of the theatre.
This Tony-nominated show keeps audiences entertained with its expressive music and captivating story. The updates to the theatre, paired with the carefully told story, earns “Jekyll & Hyde” a review of 5/5 stars.
The final showing of “Jekyll & Hyde” will take place Saturday, Oct. 29. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased online or at the Grand Theatre box office. SLCC students receive one complimentary ticket per season, and up to three tickets at half price.