Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Jekyll & Hyde"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2002 by Robert Guenthner

"Jekyll & Hyde"

The Second Cast re-Reviewed by Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump

The Musical

There was a distinct difference in the interpretation of the lead role by the two actors involved. I mentioned Ben Discipio in an earlier review. His Jekyll & Hyde were more dignified. His Hyde showed anger, but not an all out rage. He made it seem as if Hyde, deep down, did not want to commit the evil deeds.

Mr. Charles Walsh is a veteran performer at the regional level. I have seen him act and sing in many, many shows. I believe his performance in Jekyll & Hyde was the pinnacle of his career. Love or hate the show, you have to admit that it is a difficult role to play. I have never heard Chuck use his voice the way he did Sunday. A melodic tenor as Jekyll, he lowered his voice to a guttural growl as Hyde. He interjected a macabre humor into the despicable Hyde Character. Hyde was extremely happy doing his dirty work.

There is a physical, and slight age difference between the actors. Ben is also more of a baritone, Chuck a tenor. Combine those factors with their different approaches to the role and you have two altogether different shows. If I had to choose one over the other, I couldn't and I wouldn't. Both were marvelous, both gave up their bodies to the role, both should be seen.

Kathleen McCann played "Lucy" this past weekend. Ever since I saw Linda Eder sing the role on Broadway, I knew each other Lucy would be placed far behind her. Now I must say that the gap has been closed measurably. A beautiful girl, with a beautiful voice. Both looks and voice took a back seat to her acting. I was totally enthralled with her performance. She captured the essence of this prostitute who yearned for a better life. Her acting in the song A NEW LIFE was the best I have ever seen in that song. Better than Linda. The way she used her body as she sang, her use of a shawl, how she was able to express joy and sadness in the same song was magnificent. The murmuring of the audience around me, proved I was not alone in my assessment of Kathleen.

There are two actors for each of the four major roles. James Tallach as the lawyer Utterson is the only permanent person. The different combanations work well. I am going to see the show again in March, I know who ever I see will please me.

Jekyll & Hyde is playing until March 17th

"Jekyll and Hyde" (6 February - 17 March)
283 Melrose Street, NEWTON, MA
1 (617) 244-0169

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide