Jay Allen Sanford 11 a.m., Sept. 20
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella has four Mr. Hydes. At Ion Theatre, they emerge from curtains, walls, and inky darkness. The actors, who scrunch and gnarl, also play upstanding citizens in the same outfits, which underlines Stevenson's claim that we are all "double-minded." Director Kim Strassburger strikes an impressive balance between melodrama and humor (this is the funniest J&H I've seen, especially when David McBean parodies stiff-collared Victorian rectitude or utters the word "exemplary"). Well-spoken Walter Ritter keeps the good doctor's façade intact until, like Dorian Gray, he can no longer. Patrick Duffy, Susan Hammons, and Nick Kennedy smartly give their Hydes some less than ghoulish touches (suggesting that the mind may not be "bifurcated" after all?). The playwright dumped the doctor's bland fiancé and has the prostitute Elizabeth Jelks fall for Hyde. This change allows Rachel Van Wormer (at once assertive and vulnerable) to add a telling twist: see the good in an allegedly evil man.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Saturday, November 20, 2010
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 4pm & 8pm