Jekyll and Hyde – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

The eternal struggle of good versus evil has been captured for eternity by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse in their stirring and disturbing “Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical” that is currently haunting Norwalk’s Music Theatre of Connecticut. With Halloween right around the corner, this is a timely reminder that evil and darkness can lurk unsuspectingly close by. The forces of terror will be available for viewing until Sunday, October 14.

This classic tale of a monster is captured in the guise of a passionate physician, Dr. Jekyll, who wants to conduct a medical experiment that creates unexpected and terrifying results. In creating an alter ego, Mr. Hyde, he unwittingly unleashes destruction. Andrew Foote is mesmerizing as both men, switching from sanity to savagery in seconds. Even with the help and counsel of his good friend Utterson (Sean Hayden), he can not stop the sinister deeds he has accidentally released.

Imagine yourself in the dark and foggy streets of Victorian London, scurrying home with your packages, eager to reach the safety of your domicile. You know you should have finished your business earlier, in daylight, but the velvet blackness of the night fell too suddenly. Your heart beats faster as you hear the rhythm of footsteps behind you on the cobblestones, reinforcing your fears that a madman is on the loose. Will you be his next victim?

The original tale was penned by Robert Louis Stevenson, the grisly yet glamorous story of a romantic doctor and his black-hearted opposite, two very different men trapped in one body. Two women are caught in his machinations, trusting their souls to what could be a terrifying fate, both in love with the same man, yet not knowing his terrifying secret. Both his Emma who is soon be his wife, a lovely and trusting Carissa Massaro, and Lucy, a woman of the streets, a sensitive Elissa DeMaria, fall victim to his advances. Kevin Connors directs this foray into the unknown with skill.

Memorable music like “This Is the Moment,” “Someone Like You” and “A New Life” punctuate the drama with force and fervor. The longest running show in the history of the Plymouth Theater, “Jekyll and Hyde” has been viewed from Austria to Australia, Sweden to Spain.

For tickets ($30-55), call MTC, 509 Westport Avenue, Norwalk (behind Nine West Shoes), at 203-454-3883 or online at www.musictheatreofct.com. Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Be mesmerized as this monumental musical of a madman and a medical man makes its mark so majestically.

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