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"

Reviewed by Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump


book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
music by Frank Wildhorn
based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson
Director, Jerry Bisantz
Music Director, Wayne Ward
Choreographer, Linda Sughrue
Scenic Design, Ron Dion
Costumes, Richard Itczak
Lighting, Jeff Gardiner
Sound, Alex Savitzky

John Utterson - James Tallach
Sir Danvers Carew - Chuck Walsh
Jekyll's Father - Ron Dion
Henry Jekyll - Ben Discipio
Edward Hyde - Ben Discipio
Simon Stride - Patrick Pettys
Lady Beaconsfield - Susan Walsh
Bishop of Basingstoke - Marshall Munis
Lord Savage - Harry LaCoste
General Glossop - Bradford Schiff
Sir Proops - Courtney Furno
Emma Carew - Shaina Murphy
Lucy Harris - Lea Darrow
Nellie - Carrie Van Meter
Spider - Corey Jackson
Poole - Bill Jones
Bisset - Dan Garcia
Emily Czarnecki, Jessica Glazer, Katherine Miles, Jessica Scalese, Michael Levin
Christine Sarah Wood, Michael Dinsmore, Jason Gaffney, Bobsie Minton
Christina Pizzo, Josh Rubinger

Putting on any kind of a Broadway style show is a difficult task. The tiny stage of the cozy Turtle Lane Playhouse forces ingenuity beyond belief from the director and set designer. Both Jerry and Ron were equal to the task of presenting this show to us. Jerry did a wonderful job bringing each of the major performers out of the script and into life. Ron's' sets were superb. His use of a darkish back ground, allowing the actors to stand out was imaginative to say the least. Two scenes in particular stood out, I will mention them a bit later. My only problem with Ron, is that the sneaky guy did not mention that he was playing Jekyll's institutionalized father. Talking to Ron before the show, I noticed he looked a little scruffy, not his normal self. Fearing illness, I didn't mention it to him. BAD BOY!!!!.

The Jekyll & Hyde story should be known to all. The fight between good and evil that is going on, and has gone on, and in all probability will go on for eternity. Turtle Lane double casts each major role. I will see the others at a later date. For now I can only comment on Sundays cast.

Ben Discipio. You would be hard pressed to find someone to sing this role any better. Ben used and abused his voice in this difficult role. The songs in this play demand a lot from the man that sings the lead. His laid back Jekyll, contrasted wonderfully with the forceful Hyde.

Shaina Murphy has a lovely sweet voice. I was mesmerized each time it was her turn to sing. She also looked the part of a pretty aristocrat.

Lea Darrow played the unfortunate prostitute that fell in love with Jekyll. Lea did an excellent job portraying the girl who deserved a much nicer fate.

Chuck Walsh was Emma's father. He was first rate, just what you have learned to expect from him. I am looking forward to his turn at the lead.

James Tallach rivaled each of the Uttersons I have seen. A talented young man. I won't speak badly of him, even though he doesn't like Linda Eder.

Susan Walshs portrayal of Lady Beaconsfield when she was out carousing was absolutely hilarious.

Patrick Pettys was sufficiently arrogant as Mr. Stride. Bradfords make up was so good, the actor told me that his father didn't recognize him on stage. His acting an old man had to have helped to fool us.

The rest of the name characters all were equal to the task. The ensemble and dancers both male and female looked and sang beautifully.

Two scenes that stood out in my mind are. Emma and Lucy singing IN HIS EYES as they flanked Jekyll in his lab. He is in semi darkness, with the apothecary bottles glowing from back lighting. Marvelous. Another favorite is when Lucy is in her garret bedroom. She looks out the window at the rain falling against the glass while singing and wishing for A NEW LIFE. Great song and effects.

Over all, as a dedicated fan of this show, I was quite pleased. I will return several more times to see each combination in the casting. I am looking forward to being entertained with each visit.

"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