BWW Reviews: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL is an Extraordinary Experience
The new production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical visits Detroit before heading to Broadway early next year. The tour is astounding in all aspects and worth the time to experience before the limited engagement here is over. The production that stars Tony Award Nominee Constantine Maroulis and Grammy Award Nominee Deborah Cox is filled with beautiful music enhanced by emotionally charged singing and is visually stimulating to watch with its creative set and exceptional costumes.
Maroulis takes on the dual title role of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde and does an outstanding job at it. Watching him on stage there is no doubt in the audience’s mind of which character he is at that moment. His Jekyll is endearing, tender, delicate, and filled with a passion to succeed in his scientific experiments and love for his dear Emma. When he sings as Jekyll, it is strong, pure, and full of beautiful melodies and passion like in “This Is The Moment,” when Jekyll finally realizes what he needs to do for his experiments, Maroulis belts out with such passion that it brought a huge applause from the audience when he finished.
Contrarily to his Jekyll, Maroulis’ Hyde is fierce, strong, and disturbed, and he plays both roles so well and even shows what a toll that Hyde is taking on Jekyll as the plot progresses. When he transitions into Hyde, he does not leave out any aspect. His whole body changes, his look, and even his singing voice to an edgier, more rocker type voice, which is apparent in Hyde’s first solo song, “Alive,” and the difference between the two characters is really established at that moment. His brilliant dual performance makes the show worth seeing just for that factor alone.
When Cox steps on stage as Lucy, she immediately grabs attention and demands to be watched. Her Lucy is captivating, alluring, sexy, strong, but yet still has some innocence and hopeless dreamer in the character’s personality. Her singing is just as strong, possibly even more so than her acting and stage presence. “Bring On The Men” is a show stopping, sexy number, which is when the audience first hears her sing and from that moment on, she has their attention. Cox does an incredible job of making the audience feel for her character and understand what Lucy has gone through. She makes the character and her songs her own through her strong voice that her R&B background enhances each song. Her solo songs, “Sympathy, Tenderness,” “Someone Like You,” and “A New Life,” are absolutely beautiful and filled with emotion in every moment that she is singing them. Cox is just stunning on stage as Lucy and her voice is so strong that it makes every moment she sings a magical one.
Teal Wicks plays Emma, the love of Jekyll, and is just all around wonderful in her performance. She has a pure singing voice that just floats and carries emotion through the entire theatre. Her Emma is a strong woman, just like Cox’s Lucy, but it is in a different way and she brings such a love and purity to the stage with emotions for Jekyll. Her “Once Upon A Dream” is beautiful, yet heartbreaking with all the emotion she brings to it.
The entire company of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical works very well together. They sound great as a whole and have some great group numbers such as “Façade,” which the five board of governors (Blair Ross, Brian Gallagher, David Benoit, Mel Johnson Jr., and Aaron Ramey) stand out and is done really creatively using the entire company. That number also sets up the opening of number “Murder” of act two, which once again is visually appealing to watch and creatively performed by the entire company.
The show has some beautiful duets through out it as all actors perform exceptionally well together. “Take Me As I Am” between Maroulis and Wicks is a beautiful blend of their voices that are filled with emotions showing how the characters feel about one another. “Dangerous Game” is filled with passion, sex, and thrill that Maroulis and Cox perform together with a fiery intensity that resonates through the entire theatre. Maroulis’ duet with himself as both Jekyll and Hyde in “Confrontation” is performed creatively through the use of the set and he does a wonderful job as both characters and making sure the audience sees him as two different people during the number.