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‘Jekyll & Hyde’ sets tone for Halloween at New Phoenix Theatre


New Phoenix Theatre opens its 2022-2023 season with Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildthorn’s recreation of Robert Louise Stevenson’s 1886 gothic horror-thriller Jekyll & Hyde. The dark musical stars Ryan Craig in the dual roles of the mild-manner scientist and his rampaging Id-driven alter ego who are pitted in a pitched battle for supremacy and total control. The female leads are played by Tricia Hennessy as Lucy Harris, the prostitute who engages in a bizarre romantic triangle with both personalities, and Cassy Terwilliger, who plays Dr. Jekyll’s unsuspecting fiancee Emma Carew.

The gripping tale of a brilliant mind gone horrifically awry, the story begins with Dr. Jekyll’s attempt to cure his ailing father’s mental illness by separating “good” from “evil” in the human personality. But in so endeavoring, the good doctor inadvertently creates an alternate personality of pure evil dubbed Mr. Hyde. As Hyde wreaks murderous havoc on the city of London, Jekyll’s fiancée Emma grows increasingly fearful for her betrothed. Struggling to control Hyde before he takes over for good, Jekyll must race to find a cure for the demon he has created in his own mind.

When the musical premiered in 1990, it featured artful physicality, an operatic style reminiscent of Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd, intricate dance choreography and the unforgettable break-out hit “This is the Moment, poignant ballad “No One Knows Who I Am” and heartbreaking beautiful solo “Someone Like You.”

Jekyll & Hyde enjoyed a four-year run on Broadway that began in 1997 and included 1,543 performances at Plymouth Theatre. Since then, numerous productions in various languages have since been staged across the globe, including two subsequent North American tours, two tours in the United Kingdom, a concert version, a revamped U.S. tour in 2012, a 2013 Broadway revival featuring Constantine Maroulis, and an Australian concert version in 2019.

And now, just in time for the Halloween season, Jekyll & Hyde comes to New Phoenix Theatre, with a slant. Assuming the role of Costume Designer, Brenda Kensler will be outfitting the characters in steampunk. Drawing its inspiration from 19th century Victorian clothing and industrial machinery, men’s steampunk fasion commonly features long coats, tailcoat tuxedos, brocade waistcoats, tweeds, vest coats, pantaloons and jerkins. Women’s steampunk fashion typically features corsets, petticoats, riding jackets, carriage coats, ruffle bottom skirts, long skirts, high waist skirts and retro leggings. But it’s the accessories that really complete a steampunk outfit. These come in the form of innovatively-designed top hats, bowlers, brass aviators, ocular goggles, pocket watches, fingerless gloves, shoulder armor and vintage walking sticks. Southwest Florida theater-goers will be holding their collective breath waiting to see what Kensler has in store for this production.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.

August 27, 2022.

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