DPAC’s Jekyll and Hyde takes the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novella and turns it into an exciting and perfectly dark edge-of-your-seat thriller. From the moment the curtain opens and a quote from the novella is scrawled, as if by magic, in front of the audience’s eyes, viewers are enthralled. An amazingly high-tech set, which effectively utilizes projection screens, contributes to the “magic” feel and sometimes lends a cool music-video style to the scenes.
Constantine Maroulis’ Dr. Jekyll hits every note as he expresses his desire to create a distinction between the good and evil that lies within man in the early song “I Need to Know.” His performance continues to be stellar throughout, though he is particularly on-fire as the evil Hyde. In the intense first transformation scene, complete with flashing lights and creepy sound effects, Maroulis instantly and impressively goes from the slightly-nerdy-but-sweet Jekyll to the scarily sexy Hyde. His two leading ladies, sweet Emma (Teal Wicks) and sultry-voiced Lucy (Deborah Cox) also impress. While Wicks has a voice to die for, Cox is steamy, passionate magic onstage. Top moments for her include her bittersweet rendition of “Someone Like You” and her incredibly soulful performance of “A New Life.” Minor characters add their own flair and humor, including Dana Costello’s slutty Nellie and David Benoit’s less-than-holy, giant-cross-wearing Bishop of Basingstoke.
The musical clips along at a steady pace, effectively mixing darker moments with lighter ones, and raising questions about the evil that lies within us all. Maroulis’ electricity and his ability to switch so convincingly from Jekyll to Hyde go a long way in making the main character understandable, if not exactly likeable. Fans of the original story as well as newcomers will find something to enjoy here and are sure to go home feeling slightly eerie but thoroughly entertained.