On Friday April 26th, I finally got a chance to see the current Broadway revivial of Jekyll & Hyde.
I have two very, very differing views of this show, so I will – in a sense – present to you my own two takes on this show.
- This show was all over the place
I have never seen a production of Jekyll & Hyde before but was very familiar with the story (remember Wishbone did an episode about it… “Mixed Breeds”… plus, I read the book when I was younger). I knew three of the songs going into the show, but not much else besides that.
As I sat down in my seat, my heart raced (for reasons that will be made clear during my second take on the show), and I was ready to fall in love with Broadway’s tale of the two sides of one man. Instead, I giggled my way through 2 ½ hours of awful plot and even more awful accents.
For those of you who don’t know the story of Jekyll & Hyde, it’s about this scientist (Dr. Jekyll) who seeks funding and a test subject for his experiment to separate a person’s good and evil. He goes to some rich people on a council for the funding and they shoot him down, saying he has no right to play God. As much as the snooty people are annoying, they are totally right. But, Dr. Jekyll decides to proceed with his experiment on his own. He uses himself to test his methods and he morphs into Mr. Hyde (a dangerous and violent person) where he (SPOILER ALERT) cheats on his fiancé with a prostitute and then murders a bunch of people.
Now, I am quite able to suspend disbelief when necessary, but I could not wrap my mind around the plot of this musical because of how wrong the male protagonist was to do the experiment in the first place. How am I to root for Dr. Jekyll when I am morally against his entire story line?
Even if I was able to look past the ridiculousness of the plot, I couldn’t get over the horrendous accents used by our leading man and his character’s fiancé. I heard English, Scottish, Irish and American accents poorly strung together like a crooked paper chain. The outcome resulted in serious lines being laughable because of the way words and phrases were being pronounced. It was distracting and took me out of the story, especially in the first Act. By Act II, I had almost acclimated myself to the accents and was able to keep a straight face for most of the second half of the show and could concentrate on the ludicrous plot.
The biggest strength of this show was the singing. I was very impressed with the presentation of the trifecta of songs I was familiar with (“This is the Moment,” “Someone Like You” and “In His Eyes”), but enjoyed the delivery of the other songs as well. Though the lyrics were not amazing, the emotion showed on stage during most of the numbers was impressive and powerful. Deborah Cox’s voice is a godsend and Constantine Maroulis is at his best when he’s allowed to rock out. (His Mr. Hyde numbers definitely out shown the Dr. Jekyll songs.)
I’m glad I saw the show, but that will be detailed in my second take of the show.
- I am still a lot in love with Constantine Maroulis.
A fan since his stint on American Idol eight years ago, I have been a lot in love with Constantine Maroulis. Every time he was on my television while on Idol, I would burst into a fit of giggles. He had that smolder and the hair and the… everything.
I was able to see him twice on the Rock of Ages tour, but when I heard he was going to be in Jekyll & Hyde, I knew I had to see the show because I had yet to experience seeing him on Broadway.
And so, I went to Jekyll & Hyde, ready to have my mind grapes blown. Though I laughed at his horrible accent throughout the show, I legitimately thought I was going to melt in my seat any time he turned into/was Mr. Hyde. Although I was deeply attracted to the ponytailed, glasses wearing Dr. Jekyll, it was Mr. Hyde’s hair tosses and overtly sexual and sensual actions that kept my heart racing. I mean – he was ALL over Deborah Cox. And though I was completely turned off by Mr. Hyde’s murderous streak, his animalistic tendencies were another story. As Hyde, Maroulis worked that stage like he owned it and he let loose with his power ballads and rock numbers. I didn’t expect the show to get so 80s hair band, but I went with it.
My favorite moment of the night, though, came after the show at the stage door. We got a chance to speak with some of the cast members who all seemed like nice people. It took Maroulis a little longer than the others to come out, and the anticipation almost gave me an anxiety attack.
This was MY moment. I had been waiting 8 years to meet Maroulis and I didn’t want to blow my one chance. So, while talking with my friend, I had the idea to ask Maroulis is he could take not one, but two pictures with me – one as Dr. Jekyll and one as Mr. Hyde. When I posed the question to Maroulis, he obliged my request and what resulted was the greatest picture set of all time.
I normally wouldn’t post pictures of myself, but this was too good not to share. (He did the smolder in the Mr. Hyde picture… Luckily I didn’t know that until after the fact because I would have swooned right then and there. And, for the record, he did NOT choke me. His hands brushed against my coat but at no point did they touch my neck.)
So, for me, this encounter at the stage door was worth the entire price of admission. I don’t need to see the show again, but I will look back at these pictures and smile fondly at the opportunity to interact with someone I’ve admired for almost a decade.