BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL at The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre At CM Performing Arts Center
Halloween comes early this year to the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre in Oakdale as they opened their newest musical "Jekyll and Hyde." This chilling version of the classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and his alter ego Mr. Hyde is chock full of tricks, treats, and as always, riveting performances.
Loosely based on the novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson, the Broadway production opened in 1997 and played over 1,500 performances. The musical has also toured across America and even came back to Broadway for a short stint in 2013. Now playing through November 4, a multitalented cast, featuring the marvelous Katie Feretti, brings this spellbinding tale back to the stage and better than ever.
Powerhouse Casey Manning stars as Dr. Jekyll and brilliantly transforms back and forth into Mr. Hyde causing havoc and mayhem all throughout London. Dr. Jekyll is engaged to Emma played by the always reliable Ms. Feretti. At this point in her acting career, she is a young Long Island theater veteran who is always sensational. In fact, she stops every show she's in and the audience always agrees with thunderous ovations and applause. Having seen her play so many diverse roles over the years, it is amazing how she transforms herself from sweet ingenue in "White Christmas" to the lovable bride in "It Shoulda Been You" to the faithful and compassionate Emma. Prostitute Lucy played by Samantha Rosario on opening night is feisty, friendly and fearless. We all hope to see more of her theatrical talents in the musical future.
Without giving any secrets away, Jekyll's science experiment gone evil leads to townies dropping dead like flies. A love rectangle between Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, Lucy, and Emma unfolds disastrously and in the great tradition of horror stories, a shocking and surprising finale wraps up all loose ends on the bloody side. Mr. Manning, Ms. Feretti, and Ms. Rosario carry the entire show with outstanding support from Noel S. Ruiz favorites including the daring Jacqueline Hughes, spectacular Joseph Bebry, wonderful Andrew Lenahan and shining Justin Cimmino. Rafael Rivas, one of the best Bernardos we've ever seen in "West Side Story" commands the stage in every scene he's featured in. Kudos to all the Londoners for retelling this tortured tale.
If you're in the mood for a grand shocker this spooky season, check out "Jekyll and Hyde." This merry murderer is part time Sweeney Todd, part time Phantom Of The Opera, part time Norman Bates yet full time thriller and chiller. Most importantly, he serves as a great leading character for a musical and gives us a great night in the theater.
Jekyll & Hyde The Musical is presented by The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale, Long Island through November 4, 2017. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call: 631-218-2810 or visit: www.cmpac.com
Conceived for the stage by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn, Book and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, Music by Frank Wildhorn, Orchestrations by Kim Scharnberg, Arrangements by Jason Howland, Musical Director Matthew W. Surico, Choreographer Ashley Nicastro, Set Designer Jenn Hocker, Sound Designer Nicollette Carosi, Lighting Designer Alison Weinberger, Stage Manager Karen Tese, Costume Designer Ronald Green III, Directed by Ronald Green III.
Starring: Robins Phophete as Gabriel John Utterson, Gregg Sixt as Sir Danvers Crew, Casey Manning as Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde, Rafael Rivas as Simon Stride, Amy L. Dowdell as Lady Baconsfield, Andrew Lenahan as The Bishop of Basingstoke./Priest, Steven Cottonaro as Lord Savage, Sean Burbige as General Lord Glossop/Spider, Jeff Pangburn as Sir Archibald Proops, Katie Ferretti as Emma Carew, Nicole Fragala/Samantha Rosario(US) as Lucy Harris, Marielle Greguski as Nellie, Joseph Bebry as Poole, Aiden Martinez as Bisset, Jacqueline Hughes as Newsboy, Jessica Donlon, Meaghan Lakios, Folei Browne, Jennie McGuire as Red Rat Girls. The Ensemble includes: Joseph Bebry, AiDan Martinez, Justin Cimmino, Jacqueline Hughes, Samantha Rosario, Jodi Saladino, Nikki Sislian, Erin Bonura, Tiffany Morales.