by Jessica Ham
Theater has always been my passion. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love musicals. I love comedies, dramas, dramedies; you name it, I love it. But this past weekend I saw a musical like no other. That musical was Jekyll & Hyde at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. Now, Jekyll & Hyde has been a musical since the 90s but the one I saw was a new revival. I love the original version but in my opinion, the revival is even better.
I’m sure everyone knows the story of Jekyll & Hyde but if not, here’s a little summary. Henry Jekyll is a scientist who at the beginning of the story realizes his father has gone mad. Because of this tragedy Jekyll is determined to find a way to extract the evil from all people. As you all probably know, the experiment goes wrong and Jekyll creates within himself an evil alter-ego named Edward Hyde. Many things go wrong from there, but I won’t spoil anything.
This revival version of Jekyll & Hyde has an edgier, rock n’ roll feel to it; which I like a lot. It really matches with the theme of the musical. This new way of seeing Jekyll & Hyde is all thanks to the director & choreographer Jeff Calhoun, who you may recognize as the critically acclaimed director of the Tony Award winning musical Newsies.
Jekyll & Hyde stars Season 4 American Idol Finalist and Tony Award Nominee, Constantine Maroulis, as Jekyll/Hyde and Grammy Award Winning R&B artist, Deborah Cox as Lucy Harris. Other stars include Teal Wicks, who played Elphaba in a production of Wicked, as Emma Carew, and Richard White, the voice of Gaston in the animated film Beauty & The Beast, who plays Emma Carew’s Father.
I watched American Idol when Constantine was on it and I always knew he was good, but he blew me away as Jekyll/Hyde. His voice was pure perfection and his acting was the greatest acting I have ever seen on any stage. He made Jekyll & Hyde two significantly different characters. The two characters even sang and walked differently. If he doesn’t win a Tony for his performance, I will be greatly disappointed.
Deborah Cox also was perfection. Lucy has always been a favorite character of mine in the musical world, but I love her even more now thanks to Deborah. Of course, Deborah being a Grammy Award winning singer you already know she can sing, but she blew me away also. She never hit a wrong note and the emotion she put into every word had me crying. Her acting was phenomenal, which means she is incredible because Lucy is not an easy part to play well. Teal Wicks is the perfect Emma and her voice is like an angel. The cast was perfection. No one else could have done the incredible job that they did.
I have had many favorite musicals in my lifetime but Jekyll & Hyde is now above and beyond every single one of them. I will never forget the day I saw this show and I plan on seeing it as much as I can for the rest of my life.
Jekyll & Hyde is on a national tour until April when they will then be moving to New York for Broadway. For more information or to buy tickets, go to www.jekyllandhydemusical.com.