Photo Flash: JEKYLL AND HYDE Opens in Manila
Co-written by Precious Lee Cundangan
Manila, Philippines, March 23, 2012 – Repertory Philippines' current 45th theater season reaches fever pitch with the premiere of composer Frank Wildhorn and book writer and lyricist Leslie Bricusse's overtly melodramatic, pop rock-laden Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde. However, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, director for Jekyll and Hyde, along with her team, seems to have been rising above the original Broadway production's bad reputation since the local production opened last weekend. Whereas American critics find Wildhorn's body of work as "gallumphing, dunderheaded musicals that make everything by Andrew Lloyd Webber seems like great art," says Linda Winer of Newsday; Filipino critics find Repertory Philippines' stripped-down incarnation of Wildhorn's most popular undertaking as nothing short of a miracle. "By doing away with the stage spectacle [without the high-tech gimmickry that marked its Broadway run], the focus was redirected to the actors – and rightly so," says Vladimir Bunoan of ABS-CBNNews.com.
Loosely adapted on Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jekyll and Hyde, which will soon return to Broadway, with American Idol's Constantine Maroulis playing the dual title role, is the classic story about an astute doctor, Dr. Henry Jekyll whose experiments with human personality create a murderous alter ego, Edward Hyde.
"I've totally deconstructed the material, and given it a new interpretation. The set itself, designed by New York-based scenographer and graphic designer Joey Gonzalez-Mendoza, revolves around the idea of a Victorian operating theater – an unsterilized amphitheater where medical students and the public could watch surgeons perform delicate operations – and the ensemble functions like a Greek chorus, accompanied by a full orchestra," says Yulo. "In preparing for the production, I did research and read the novel. I found out that Stevenson was a sickly child, and would watch people from his bedroom window. The characters of Jekyll and Hyde were actually based on a real person – who was a pillar of society and a clergyman, but who was also a late-night gambler," she adds.
Leading Repertory Philippines' Jekyll and Hyde cast are Jett Pangan, who shares the dual title role with Michael Williams; Kalila Aguilos as Lucy Harris, the role originally played by Wildhorn's former wife, Linda Eder, on Broadway; Cris Villonco, who shares the role of Emma Carew with Tricia Jimenez; Junix Inocian as Gabriel John Utterson; Steve Cadd as Sir Danver Carew; Jack Salud as Simon Stride; Reuben Uy as Lord Savage; Red Nuestro as Bishop of Basingstoke; Mayen Bustamante-Cadd as Lady Beaconsfield; Jaime Inocian as Archibald Proops; Oliver Usison as General Lord Glossop; Jamie Wilson as Spider; Naths Everett as Nellie; and James Stacey as Poole.
Baby Barredo (artistic director), Rem Zamora (assistant director), John Batalla (lighting director), Raven Ong (costume designer), Onyl Torres (musical director), Gidget Tolentino (production manager and sound engineer), Denis Lagdameo (technical director), Ayam Barredo (company manager), Perky Parong (stage manager), Pol Roxas (sound technician), Pablito Salvador (lighting technician) and Adul Lasin (set execution and scenic artist) complete this version's creative and production team.
For tickets, inquiries, and other information, call Repertory Philippines: (632) 571-6926 or (632) 571-4941 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are also available at Ticketworld: (632) 891-9999 or www.ticketworld.com.ph. Jekyll and Hyde extends its run until Sunday, April 22 at Onstage, 2/F Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Makati City.
Photos by Jory Rivera
New York-based scenographer Joey Gonzalez-Mendoza designs Repertory Philippines' production of "Jekyll and Hyde."
Sneak peek: Kalila Aguilos sings "Someone Like You" from Repertory Philippines' production of "Jekyll and Hyde."