LAVON (CBSDFW.COM) – Michael Edwards refers to himself a Jekkie, a fan of the musical Jekyll and Hyde. But the moment you walk into his home in Lavon you realize he is much more than a fan.
His collection of Jekyll and Hyde memorabilia covers every square foot of his home office. His collection consists of hundreds of items from magazines, to posters, to actual pieces. Michael’s collection and love for the musical started in 1990 when he saw Jekyll and Hyde in Houston for the first time. “The first piece that I got was this official HJ7 Beaker. This is the first thing I picked up and said, Oh I’ve got to have this. I know it’s just a beaker with a sticker on it but it’s great!”
His 22-year collection includes his oddest item, HJ7 perfume and his favorite item, a cast pin from 1995 that reads “The only thing constant is change.”
He already knows what the next item is he wants. “I know I’ve got to get the new poster signed by the cast for this wall because it needs to be there.”
Last night Michael along with a few other Jekkies went to opening night of Jekyll and Hyde at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and yes he got the next piece for his collection.
Jekyll and Hyde runs through December 16th and tickets are still available. Below is Michael’s overall thoughts on the performance:
Being a longtime fan of Jekyll & Hyde The Musical, I went to the Winspear theater last night with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I knew this new Tour would be different from every other version I had seen since 1990, but hey…. every time I’ve seen the show it has been different. After all, “The Only Thing Constant is Change.” I prepared myself by being of two minds, the second was to watch the show as if I had never seen it before.
So when the opening strains of the overture began, everything else slipped away and I was swept, once again, into the world of Jekyll & Hyde. For the next two hours, I was “Lost in the Darkness” of the good doctor’s descent into madness. Constantine Maroulis’ performance far surpassed my expectations. I knew he had the talent to tear into the songs with a vengeance, which he did… but I was unprepared for his acting ability which allowed him to slip easily and naturally into both sides of the lead character’s nature. His body language and line delivery were spot on, making Jekyll a real live, caring (though faulted) human being as opposed to a stiff caricature. His Hyde moved with a catlike grace and was fiercely menacing. Deborah Cox also delivered the role of Lucy very naturally and she sang with a power that nearly brought the house down. Honestly, every cast member was perfect.
I loved the stylized design and use of the sets. Everything moved with ease as they transitioned from place to place. The use of the written imagery as we heard Jekyll’s notes being read was inspired. The Confrontation sequence was one of the best I’ve ever seen. The use of the portrait and the projected ‘cracking’ of the walls was a major show stopper – allowing the audience to dramatically visualize the final assault on, and breakdown of, the good doctor’s psyche. I was asked earlier in the day if I was concerned I would be disappointed by the show being that is was going to be so drastically different from what I had seen before, and I wasn’t sure how to answer. After seeing the show, it came to me. Where you have Frank Wildhorn’s passionate scores…. How could anyone be disappointed?
From an longtime fan’s perspective though, I feel I should prepare other fans for certain things. There were little bit and pieces I feel should be changed or restored that would strengthen the show. Lines of dialogue here and there that have been changed or added to that I don’t feel worked well in the flow of the show. It did also take me a little bit to get used to hearing a few of the songs performed differently, mostly in terms of tempo than what I had been used to. But this is no different than hearing a favorite mainstream song performed by a different artist, there is a certain awkwardness. These new orchestrations are in no way detrimental to the show, they are every bit as good as, and in some cases better than, earlier versions – but longtime fans need to be prepared for this as some are very drastically different.
Overall, I loved this new version. I am thrilled that it is back and ready to be unleashed on a whole new legion of fans. Jekyll & Hyde is one of the great musicals and deserves a long life on Broadway and around the world. Can’t wait to see it again!
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