Jekyll and Hyde – Review by Marlene Gaylinn

Few shows could be more chilling than the musical “Jekyll & Hyde,” currently at Music Theatre Of Connecticut (MTC). The story is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 gothic novella, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” What’s intriguing about this tale is Dr. Jekyll’s attempt to separate the “good” and “evil” sides of human nature while illustrating the conflict between society’s long held values. More specifically, hypocrisy verses scientific searching for the truth. The topic of morality is also relevant for today’s audiences.

The challenge is to take serious subject matter and make it entertaining for general audiences. This show is not the usual romance or comedy. Reactions can be mixed unless you come prepared for a dark musical that also features wonderful singing, haunting melodies, dramatic staging and exciting effects. Music Theatre of Connecticut, under the direction of Kevin Connors, serves up all these elements, especially when he provocatively asks in his program notes: “Do we all have a darker side, given the right circumstances? … Is the image that we project to the world a true picture of who we really are?”

Playing the role of scientist, Dr. Jekyll, who turns into the ugly and murderous Mr. Hyde, is Andrew Foote. Foote has the ability to charm the audience with his magnificent voice, and uses his long hair to transform into the two characters. Carissa Massaro is delightful as his forlorn fiancé, Emma Carew, and Elissa DeMaria is “Lucy,” the seductive prostitute is who uses her sultry voice and body to full advantage. Some familiar, melodious songs from this production are: “This is the Moment,” “Someone Like You” and “In His Eyes.” – all nicely performed by the leading characters and supporting cast.

Presenting this musical in this intimate, Norwalk theatre has its challenges. While the audience feels its part of this scary drama, it can become a bit too scary when the characters almost stumble off the center platform and practically fall in your lap when being murdered. In any case it’s season of the year for this sort of enjoyment – so prepare for it.

Diane Vanderkroef designed the lovely, period costumes, and David Wolfson directs the live orchestra with finesse.

Music Theatre of Connecticut is a professional theatre located at 509 Westport Avenue. Norwalk, CT. Parking is free and convenient.

This season includes “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Always … Patsy Cline,” and “Cabaret.”

Plays to: October 14, 2018 Tickets: 203-454-3883

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