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BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL at Sunnyvale Community Players

BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL at Sunnyvale Community Players

Sunnyvale takes on a MONSTER!

Sunnyvale Community Players open their 51st season with an ambitious musical, "Jekyll & Hyde". The show, by Frank Wildhorn, Steve Cuden, and Leslie Bricusse spent several years on Broadway and had multiple Tony Award nominations. This local production under the stage and vocal direction of Raissa Marchetti-Kozlov, along with musical director Benjamin Belew, taps into the classic battle between good and evil as it meanders it's way through the dark and twisted mind of Dr Henry Jekyll and his nemesis alter ego Edward Hyde.

It's London circa late 1800's where Dr. Jekyll can be found lamenting his father's mental decline and now laying comatose in the hospital. Determined to fine a cure, Jekyll seeks the help of the Hospital board in advancing his research for a remedy. However, things fall apart as the board rejects Jekyll's experiment as lunacy itself. Jekyll decides to proceed, in spite of the set back, with himself as the subject who will first take the formula he has concocted.BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL at Sunnyvale Community Players

In his private life, Jekyll has become engaged to the enchanting (and well-to-do) Emma. Yet, on a bachelor's night out he meets the bawdy Miss Lucy who sets her eyes on the good doctor. Jekyll's candle burns bright for Emma, but deep down Lucy has sewn a seed of doubt.BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL at Sunnyvale Community Players

Jekyll proceeds with the experiment and records the deed in his journal. Unexpectedly, the results of the experience open a portal for a separate personality to emerge from Jekyll; one that is dark and filled with malice - one Edward Hyde.BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL at Sunnyvale Community Players

Hyde pours out all the pent up feelings that Jekyll has held and the outcome is murderous. London is in a panic as one after another of its upstanding citizens is found bludgeoned. Curiously, it seems the Hospital Board that rejected Jekyll is now the target of a serial killer.

The story builds to a climax as the questions: will the killer get caught? will Jekyll or Hyde win? which woman will get her man?...are finally answered.

James Schott takes lead of the cast with the beastly role of Jekyll & Hyde. Schott is well voiced to handle the quickly morphing character. As Jekyll he is earnest and conflicted enough to provide the needed contrast for the brash and arrogant Mr. Hyde. His transformation after the musical number "This is the Moment" is a performance highlight.

Haley Henson, as Jekyll's finance Emma Carew, brings the lovely and caring character to life. The lyrical quality of her voice lends itself well to both the persona and the musical numbers. Particularly moving is the reflective "Once Upon a Dream" that BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL at Sunnyvale Community PlayersHenson sings quite beautifully.

Jocelyn Pickett embodies the heart and soul of the burlesque star Lucy. Pickett's acting is as strong as her voice, and she's a powerhouse. She aptly navigates the role by weaving from singing phenom, to tough pimped prostitute, and back to a woman with her own needs. Pickett's passionate rendition of "Someone Like You" is one of the finest moments in the show.

The remaining cast of characters is a well rounded group that keep the story interesting and establish, early on, that there is much to see in this well cast troop. Completing the picture is an ensemble that gives it all in challenging numbers like "Facade" and "Murder, Murder". There were moments the music may have sounded a bit too "pretty" for some of the darker times, but it still played well.

BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE THE MUSICAL at Sunnyvale Community Players

South Bay Patrons can see this show through October 6, 2019. "This is the Moment" to get your tickets at sunnyvaleplayers.org. The theater is located at 550 E Remington Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Photos courtesy of Sunnyvale Community Theatre




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From This Author Paul Bolton