BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE at Stage Coach Theatre
As part of the 39th season, Jekyll and Hyde comes to the Stage Coach Theatre. Premiering in Houston Texas before coming to Broadway in 1997, the show became a well deserved hit with 1543 performances. The musical is loosely based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. With music by Frank Wildhorn, a book by Leslie Bricusse and lyrics by Frank Wildhorn, Leslie Bricusse and Steve Cuden. With songs like "It's a Dangerous Game" and "In His Eyes" The show has a memorable score leaving audiences with the urge to listen to them for days after seeing it live.
Jekyll and Hyde causes the audience to ponder on the question "is there a way to separate the good from the evil in someone?
What makes a man simultaneously good and evil?" Jekyll's drive for finding an answer to this question brings in our story. The show begins with John Utterson and Sir Danvers Carew being introduced to the audience. Both of these characters have connections with Doctor Henry Jekyll. Utterson is one of Jekyll's best friends, while Carew is his future father in law. They take us back to find Jekyll in an insane asylum sitting beside his father. Jekyll promises to find an answer to his father's insanity, no matter what it takes. Some time passes and we see Jekyll presenting a research proposal to the board at St Judes Hospital. He has a wanting and a yearning to see if he can help people from falling under the same fate his father did. He is driven by an internal need to see how a man can be good and evil. When his ideas are rejected and he is mocked, he becomes his own test subject. Edward Hyde and his destructiveness, mayhem, and chaos is introduced.
In the leading role of Jekyll & Hyde is Josh Conner. Josh's performance was raw and authentic. His expressions told a major part of the story. From the heartbreak and anger when his ideas were not accepted, to rare moments of happiness and joy. Conner perfectly portrayed the war between Jekyll and Hyde, as well as the heartbreaking end. Taylor Vickers is astonishing as Emma, in her portrayal you could tell Emma truly would do anything for Jekyll. Her faith and devotion to him are intense, and her voice blew me away. Michelle Davis as Lucy brought a light to a very dark role. Davis and Vickers together in In His Eyes had the entire theatre on the edge of their seats and was one of the highlights of the show. Christian Grey was remarkable as Jekyll's best friend and partner in crime, and Doug Clemens as Sir Danvers Carew was incredible. Clemens and Vickers together as a father-daughter duo was beautiful and one of my favorite parts. Each member of the ensemble brought something new and real to this show.
Kelliey Black Chavez did a beautiful job directing the show. The show came from her heart, she'll be directing All Shook Up in the Spring. She's excited to continue showing Boise what she can do. With a large influx of people moving into Boise, new talent has come as well. . Though there are also some veterans who have been with Stage Coach Theatre for a good amount of time. The mix of new and old leads to shows and memories that will last a lifetime. Holly Styler's choreography was outstanding, the cast is one well-oiled machine with the movement on the stage. The lighting was extraordinary, from the more simple lighting in some scenes to scenes like The Confrontation where it showed it's magic. The sets, though simple and minimalistic were an incredible feature in the storytelling in this production.
Overall, this production was beautiful and showed what Boise is capable of when it comes to theatre. I look forward to seeing what The Stage Coach Theatre does next.