Jekyll & Hyde at PPAC

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 2, 2013

Edward Hyde emerges after Jekyll uses himself as his test subject, injecting himself with his formula — quite dramatically, with tubes suspended from boiling columns of red liquids. Surviving its agonizing physical effects, the newly uninhibited and aggressive Hyde is delighted to wander into the night and attack passersby, and London sees a killing spree eliminating Dr. Jekyll's aristocratic and hypocritical acquaintances.

One of the troubles with Jekyll & Hyde is that the opportunity of overblown melodrama invited the production to pump up the volume with rousing songs — "Murder," "Alive!" — when audience attention might flag, instead of building more character relationships. Pathos ratcheted down to sympathy might have been more effective, but only if, for example, the underutilized character of Emma had been developed into more than a placeholder for love, perhaps allowed to become society's female Jekyll to Lucy's potential Hyde. Then perhaps this show could have offered more than just flash and spectacle.

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  Topics: Theater , Frank Wildhorn, Providence Performing Arts Center, Leslie Bricusse,  More more >
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