“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” an already dark tale by Robert Louis Stevenson, slides into Edgar Allan Poe’s more gothic macabre genre in the revival of “Jekyll & Hyde” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre now through March 24, 2013.
A new production directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun (“Newsies”), the revival exudes the energy of its stars, Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis in the title role and platinum recording star Deborah Cox as prostitute Lucy Harris.
However, Maroulis, who pulls off a superb transformation to his evil side, seems to feel more akin to the wild Mr. Edward Hyde role than that of quiet, studious but determined Dr. Henry Jekyll. Maybe that is his strong, “Rock of Ages” persona that won him a Best Actor Tony nomination, showing.
More emphasis on Jekyll as he writes in his journal might flesh out that part of his role. The writings do show high up on a backdrop but don’t seem to be connected to Maroulis as Jekyll.
They look and sound important but without seeing Jekyll writing, they take viewers by surprise. Not everyone read Stevenson’s novella or saw the original musical on Broadway when it opened at the Plymouth Theatre in 1997.
Fans of “American Idol” might go to see Maroulis, a show finalist, but it is the music by Leslie Bricusse, Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cuden and Cox’s super talent as a singer and actress (title role in Elton John’s “Aida”) that carry the show.
The voices of Teal Wicks as Jekyll’s fiancé, Emma Carew, and Richard White as her father, Sir Danvers Carew along with Maroulis and Laird Mackintosh as Jekyll’s friend John Utterson, sing a fine, operetta style quartet in “His Work-And Nothing More.”
Cox’s “Sympathy, Tenderness,” “Someone Like You” and “A New Life” solos are worth hearing but the show, in Chicago before opening at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre April 5, 2013, needs some fine tuning.
Details: Tickets $33-$95. For more information visit Broadway in Chicago and call 800-775-2000. The Cadillac Palace Theatre is at 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.