Support local journalism by subscribing to Special Offers – USAToday Network.
The world’s favorite split personality monster visits Brevard Melbourne Civic Theatre and Henegar Center for the Performing Arts. Two cinemas in central Melbourne will be producing very different versions of the Jekyll and Hyde story over the next few weeks.
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Melbourne Civic Theater launches a new and shocking version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story. The play is brimming with debauchery, lust, love and horror as good guy Henry Jekyll’s experiments with exotic “powders and potions” transform him into Edward Hyde, the quintessential bad boy and chick.
The MCT version, adapted by Geoffrey Hatcher from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, opens on October 7th and runs through November 13th.
The straight-shooting Jekyll isn’t too keen on giving up Hyde, perhaps taking a little subconscious pleasure in Hyde’s immoral and sensual pursuits. But when Hyde is attracted to a certain woman, Jekyll, fearing for his life, decides to end the experiment. Perhaps it was too little, too late, as Hyde is no longer interested in paying Jekyll as the two battle each other in a deadly game that will determine who is master and who is slave.
“I came across this version of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ around this time last year and immediately knew I wanted to put it on for Halloween this season,” said director Peg Girard.
“Then I read Robert Louis Stevenson’s original novella, the first chapter was called The Door Story. The door is a key part of our set and features prominently in the story in Geoffrey Hatcher’s dramatization.’
In Hatcher’s version, all but two of the actors in the cast play Hyde at different times, determined by who is holding his cane at any given moment.
“In my version, the roles are somewhat reversed, as are some aspects of Jekyll and Hyde themselves,” Hatcher said.
“One of the arguments I never believed, and I suspect Stevenson didn’t either, is that Henry Jekyll is completely good and Edward Hyde is completely evil. I’m trying to have fun with Jekyll and Hyde playing cat and mouse with each other and wondering who should we root for.’
The San Francisco Chronicle noted that “Hatcher has produced a play that feels truer to Stevenson, but trendier, sexier, and richer.”
“Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical”
The epic battle between good and evil continues at the Henegar Performing Arts Center with Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical from October 14-30.
Originally conceived for the stage by Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cooden, the musical debuted on Broadway in 1997. The show portrays Jekyll as a passionate and romantic man of science, while Hyde is a terrifying madman who is nonetheless attractive to women.
The musical features a love triangle, unlike the play’s only love. In the original 1886 novel, these elements did not exist at all.
“This version of Stevenson’s classic is a darker twist on the material, addressing issues such as mental illness and inequality between social classes,” said Dominic Del Brocco, Henegar’s executive artistic director.
While the Melbourne Civic Theater version has a modest cast of six, Henegar’s large-scale production, directed and choreographed by Del Broca, relies on 25 actors to tell the story.
Henegar is a new renovation project that has updated the historic 103-year-old building throughout.
Girard explains why both shows are worth watching.
“Over the years, I have noticed that there is a duality among theatergoers,” she said. “Some define theater exclusively as a musical and rarely attend non-musical performances. In the second camp are the partygoers who can’t stand musicals.”
“I’m a theatrical omnivore myself, equally happy to watch and direct,” she said. “There’s something for everyone in central Melbourne in October, with a double helping for someone like me who has one foot in each camp.”
If you go
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (performance)
Where: Melbourne Civic Theatre, 817 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne
If: 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays until November 13
Tickets: 30 dollars
On the Internet: mymct.org
“Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical”
Where: Henegar Center, 625 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne
When: 8pm Fridays and Saturdays and 2pm Sundays until October 30. Henegar added a matinee at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 29.
Tickets: Starting at $34
On the Internet: henegarcenter.com
Whether you’re interested in music, theater, festivals or other local entertainment, FLORIDA TODAY has you covered. Support local journalism by subscribing to Special Offers – USAToday Network.