Dr. Jekyll was on American Idol!

Playing at the Buell Theatre through February 10, 2013, JEKYLL & HYDE, starring Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis, (American Idol finalist in the fourth season) as Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde and Grammy Award nominee and R&B star Deborah Cox as Lucy.

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Speaking from the heart, Jekyll & Hyde was not on my list of shows I was dying to see. Certainly I didn’t have the anticipation I had for Memphis, or in the past for Mamma Mia!, Legally Blonde, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Boyfriend, and next up, Catch Me, If You Can. My taste in theatre is simple and lively. Give me dancing and singing to music I can pat my foot to and leave me wishing I had been on that stage.

Here was my state of mind last week. The flu had me on my ass for weeks.  I lost my glasses the week before. When I opened an email on Tuesday, about the opening of J & H, that night, I should have known. Nevertheless, I got myself together to go that night. I figured I’d take cough drops and a water bottle for precaution. I called my ever ready theatre companion Therese, who was up for it. We found a great parking space. We walked down to the theatre complex. I commented how odd it seemed. It felt eerily dead. There was some bustling activity at the Buell, so we kept walking, but soon discovered it was a private USBank event. Hmm. All the posters said Jeykll & Hyde Opening January 29. I checked my phone for the email. Yep, wrong night. We made an about face and went to Desserts for what else? It was so crowded we left, then went to Natural Grocers to get cold medicine. By this time it was 8:00. We parked. Looked at the store hours posted on the door. Close at 8:04 p.m., open at 9:06 a.m. Is that weird? Therese had just enough time to slip through the door and make her purchase. Determined to save the night, we ended up at Racine’s with a bowl of warm peach cobbler and ice cream. The next night (in line with my whacky week) Chip & I went to Bayou Bob’s to hear David Booker. We were in-sync, Booker was playing, we agreed.  We walk in, no set up. No kidding. Booker played the night before. Talk about confusion. Glad that week is over.

So last night was the official Jekyll & Hyde opening. Parking was normal. There were few open spaces so we knew we were there on opening night. We had marvelous seats. We hunkered down with little enthusiasm. Next thing we knew it was intermission. We looked at each with total surprise and knew we had made a great decision.

Jekyll & Hyde was mesmerizing. It is based on the novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  

The musical is a dark and dangerous love story about a London doctor who accidentally unleashes his evil personality in his quest to cure his father’s mental illness.  Constantine Maroulis is excellent.  The audience is witness to his miraculous transformation on stage as he morphs from the kind Dr. Jeykll into a raunchy Mr. Hyde. It was visually effective when he loosened his long, curly locks to become the menacing Mr. Hyde. With one toss of his head, the hair tumbled down turning him into a disheveled, wild, angry, aggressive man. Deborah Cox was the tasty eye candy plucked down in the middle of this somber black, green, red, hints of blue set. All brilliantly created for maximum atmosphere indicative of a dreary turn of the century London.

The story is a cross between an angry, vengeful Robin Hood (taking out people who are perceived as useless and self-absorbed, for the good of mankind), and the sad tale of star-crossed lovers. You know how a story like this ends. But, you must see it in person to experience the strong, melodic voices that tell this strange, stirring story.

For tickets call 303-893-4100. denvercenter.org

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