Playbill Critics Circle: Your Reviews of J&H, Part 5

News   Playbill Critics Circle: Your Reviews of J&H, Part 5 This is the moment. . . that Jekyll and Hyde fans have been waiting for. After eight years in gestation, the musical opens April 28, with a new director and new physical production, with a very different approach from the ones on the 1995-96 national tour.

This is the moment. . . that Jekyll and Hyde fans have been waiting for. After eight years in gestation, the musical opens April 28, with a new director and new physical production, with a very different approach from the ones on the 1995-96 national tour.

Write your review of the new version of the show ONLY if you've seen one of the Broadway performances. Let everyone know what the show looks, sounds and feels like. Be as specific and descriptive as possible. How well does the show express its themes? How faithful is it to the book? How well does it make the translation to the stage? How are the performances, the design elements?

 

Write your comments -- long or short -- and e-mail them to Managing Editor Robert Viagas at robert_viagas@playbill.com. Comments will be posted as they come in.

Please make sure to include your town and state, and please note whether you'd like us to include your full e-mail address so you can receive responses. This is optional, of course. Owing to the unusual number and length of responses, we have created a fifth Critics Circle file for this show. Here are the results so far. Playbill On-Line thanks those who took the time to write.

From Gannymeed :
This isn't going to be my in depth attempt at being a professional theatre reviewer (which seems to be the goal of the reviews I just read). A professional reviewer I am not. I did enjoy the show Jekyll & Hyde a great deal. Linda Eder and Robert Evans (who is far more capable at doing the "confrontation" scene than Cuccioli) were brilliant. I also felt the name "Emma" rather than "Lisa" seemed much more fitting for the time that the show was taking place. I am also relieved to see that "No One Knows Who I Am" made it back into the show. However, I COULD NOT believe that the creators of this show could do such an injustice to this piece of work by removing two such powerful songs as "Bitch Bitch Bitch" and replacing it with a reprise of "Facade", and "Bring on the Men", with "Good and Evil". "Bring on the Men" is by far the showstopper. . . WHAT A TRAGIC DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (5/22/97)

 

From BLawson654:
We went to see "J&H" on 5/7/97. I loved it! The Music was phenomenal, acting was excellent, and the chemistry between the actors was great. My friends and I fell in love with Robert Evan, the lead for the wed. matinee. Some of my friends sang the most memorable songs, "Once Upon a Dream," "Someone like You," And "This is The Moment" at our Choir Concert.
"J&H" is VERY addictive- I hope to go see it again during the summer!!! (5/20/97)

 

From Turismo pigmaleon puebla:
I paid $75 for this one. It wasn't not good business. Robert Louis Stevenson's novella deserved a better musical adaptation. Something is missing in this show and can't say what it is exactly. This novella is very good material for a musical, the music is good, the sets are nice and the performers are also very good. But still it's not what I expected.
I would say that there are two big problems here: the book and the direction. The sequences are very slow, the dramatic scenes that were supposed to be powerful don't work very well and leave the audience expecting a lot more. Even with such a long out of town workout, Jekyll and Hyde is not yet in good shape for Broadway.
But even with such problems, there are good moments in this show, especially the scene in which Jekyll decides that his experiment must be done and sings the haunting "This is the moment", which is the song everybody is talking about. Other great songs are "Take me as I am", "Murder, Murder", "A new Life" and "Someone like You".
I attended a Saturday matinee, so I saw Robert Evan as Jekyll and Hyde, instead of Robert Cuccioli, whom I've heard is great. Mr. Evan delivers a great performance, he does his best to bring life to such complex charachters. I was expecting much more from Linda Eder. There has been so much talk about her that I tought she was one of a kind. I found more enjoyable Christiane Noll's performance as Emma Carew, Dr. Jekyll's girlfriend.
The sets for Jekyll and Hyde are fine, I specially liked the set of Dr. Jekyll's laboratory. Other sets are effective but not remarkable.
I don't consider that Jekyll and Hyde is a bad show, but it cannot stand along with the other new musicals of this season. (5/9/97)

 

From Liz Spangler, York PA:
I just got home from my trip to New York today to see the matinee of Jekyll and Hyde. Wow. I am soooo impressed. Over all, I loved it. The cast themselves (especially Christiane Noll) were outstanding. We did not see Robert Cuccioli, but rather his understudy, Robert Evan. WOW!!!!!! Mr. Evan was fabulous. He has such a strong voice and real zeal for the role. I was really into it.
Here are a couple things, though, that I did not like:
1. Linda Eder: She cannot act worth anything. Her character, Lucy, was not developed at all, and all she did was belt her head off. She was good, but it did not fit her role or the show. She has a wonderful voice, but the show is called "Jekyll and Hyde", but "Linda Eder and some stuff about a guy named Hyde". I didn't think it was right either that they were promoting her CD. That's her private career. Shows are a team effort, not one person.
2. "Good and Evil": Ick ick ick. I hated it. Give me "Bring on the Men" any day!!! The song was forgettable, and why on earth are there men in Spandex rolling around? It's supposed to be the 1900's, not 1990s. They do not fit the scene. Pimps, maybe. But the Spandex did not work at all.
3. The Confrontation: I have to agree with a review I read here on this one. The first few times he tosses his hair back and forth are clever, after that, I was rolling in my mezzanine seat. When he started yelling, "No!" I lost it. He was spitting and everything, and besides, there was no set!!! Where was he supposed to be? I almost expected John to walk by and wonder what the heck he was doing, talking to himself. But I do give Mr. Evan credit: He was very into it, and I could tell he was tired.
Now things I loved:
1. The usage of "left and right": I loved how when he was Hyde, he wrote lefthanded, but Jekyll, righthanded. It symbolized wonderfully.
2. Murder, Murder: Tres bien. Very well staged, even if there was no gore. I liked it a lot.
3. "Take me as I am": I almost starting crying!!! Christiane Noll has such a beautiful voice and the song was acted out so tenderly and lovingly that it was real. I loved it, that was my favorite scene. There's much more to it, but I do not have time to write it all. Overall, it was wonderful, but they cut songs that should have stayed, in my opinion. Oh, and by the way, we met the cast afterward!!! They stayed for a half hour in the theatre, and I talked to them and everything. The one disappointment: Linda Eder was too egotisical to come out. I got the feeling she was *not* too well liked by the cast. But Christiane Noll, again, is a sweetheart, and I hope she goes far!!!! (5/7/97)

 

From >From MIKE (MDCTHEATRE@AOl.COM) Boston, MA:
I can't express the dissapointment in this production! After waiting 6 years to see it on Broadway and seeing it on the road once... this production was a joke! What happened to the book! I think it was directed with the notion that everyone knows what happens because everyone heard the album! WELL SURPRISE! Much of the music from the album is gone GOOD AND EVIL???? Bring back BRING ON THE MEN!
And why did they raise Lucy's class! She is supposedto be a gutter whore... yet her apartment is beautiful... and what a wardrobe... where did she get the robe? I suppose after her successful tour of the far east! Speaking of costumes... I thought these were supposed to be HOOKERS not SHOWGIRLS and a few leftovers from the World Wrestling Association! YUCK YUCK YUCK!
My advice
1. ROBERT CUCCIOLI- Accept the Tony with grace... you deserve it
2. LINDA EDER- Move on, more records... this vehicle is a waste of your phenominal talent.
3. JECKIES-Accept the fact this once great ride is over, GET OVER IT!!!
4. TICKET BUYERS... Save your money... buy the double album and imagine how wonderful it could have been!
5. WALT DISNEY CO.- TAKE A RISK- listen to the double CD score and imagine how wonderful this could be as your first R rated animated feature!
6. DREAMWORKS- if Disney Doesn't do it..... YOU SHOULD! (4/30/97)

 

Ler69 (Ler69@aol.com) Ft. Lauderdale, FL:
I had seen Jekyll and Hyde just over a year ago down in Miami. From my standpoint I thought the show was overall good. The concept and portrayals were good, but the effects and staging was fairly bad.
The show kept to it's dullness and drearyness quite well. With very little choreography and movement, the show kept from becoming an upbeat and happy musical. The very few upbeat numbers like Facade, Bitch and Murder, Murder were done without much motion on stage, keeping the show quite and dreary. The sets slightly captured the mystery, but the hurt the show more than helped. The moving of the sets forward and backward was totally unnessary and it seemed like some set designers were just trying to show off what they can do for no reason. The shows was played out well but the actors, with yet another incredible man as the lead and of course Linda Eder (what more could you say about her voice?). I think at points there weren't enough special effects and some had too much. I think that maybe all the transformations need to be done better. By just taking the ponytail out does not make the audience believe in the character.
I didn't have the best seats that evening and i couldn't always tell when he was Jekyll or when he was Hyde. I think all the slaying was well played out, without blood and gore, which is unnecessary in Musical Theatre. If the show would keep some of it's old, original songs and keep from changing their script ever time they tour, the show will find it's niche and become a success, with it's Les Miserables drearyness and seriousness, which as a new form of musical, has a great effect on capturing the audience... If you are deciding whether or not to see the show, go if you are not spending over $50 on tickets. (4/29/97)

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