And then there are days when I love The Jungle. (Actually, I always do. It's the people that are sometimes stupid.) This particular time I love that we live in a town with great theaters and I get to see the just-on, just-off Broadway shows.
ATL and I went to see the out-of-town opening for Jekyll & Hyde last night. And it was spectacular.
Not really good, but definitely a spectacle.
It's a difficult musical to be sure. Who wants to go and see the main character die? (We were very early this time - which has never happened before - so we talked to the ushers about the show and one said it was depressing to have to watch Dr. Jekyll die every night and twice on Saturdays.)
I was hoping that this new iteration would have some redeeming quality to the story.
It almost did.
I really liked the journal entries being written across the screen to help us see it from Dr. Jekyll's point of view. I wanted there to be one last entry - just a line or something - to finish the show and bring it full circle but there wasn't and it left a depressing feeling as the curtain fell.
The songs are amazing though. I've listened to the CD from the original show's cast and I suppose I am a little bit spoiled by Robert Cuccioli's performance. That man was amazing. He even changed his voice when he sang as Mr. Hyde. Phenomenal skills.
I may or may not have gushed all over the screen about him here.
(If you want to see the whole show, it's still on YouTube, with David Hasselhoff as the main lead.)
But about the real performance and the real actors this time.
You may have heard of Constantine Maroulis - he was on American Idol:4 - and there's no question he has the voice. He's of slighter build than I expected him to be after all the promotions. But he has a really great voice and he sang well. I just felt he was too anxious to get to the angry, mean guy and didn't spend enough time on the calm, rational man. There were a lot of pyrotechnics, and video tricks which sometimes worked and were a little over the top. 'Confrontation,' which is possibly the hardest song in the show, just had too much fire and was MUCH too loud. The amplifiers could have gone down a few decibels (try 50) and been just fine.
True for most of the show actually. The whole good vs. bad thing plays better when the good guy is calm and in control and the bad guy is wild and crazy. Doesn't work as well when both of them are belting it to the ceiling and lights going off everywhere with smoke and strobes. Constantine needs to finesse the role a little but he could be great.
Deborah Cox, as Lucy, was outstanding. I liked the character better this time than any other before. She played it well, she sang it fantastic and she finessed it all over. Really marvelous performance.
I still think Emma is my favorite part in the show. She was a little more snobby than I wanted but Teal Wicks played her well enough. Obviously she can sing. (She was Elphaba on one of the Wicked tours through The Jungle. I saw her UNDERSTUDY. Oy.) Together, she and Deborah did a really phenomenal job on 'In His Eyes.' Brought down the house.
Laird MacKintosh played John Utterson, Jekyll's best friend, and he was good. He wasn't a bass, which I think works better sound wise but whatever.
And that is pretty much the cast. It's a small group and most actors play two or more parts because they are so limited. It's almost a one-man show.
ATL and I had an excellent time. We do love live performances and it's always a thrill to go to the theater. It might need some tweaking before Broadway but I got to see it before New York did!
This is me and it was a big show.