“JEKYLL & HYDE,” through Oct. 25, CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, 525 S. 400 West, Centerville (801-298-1302 or cptutah.org)
CENTERVILLE — It’s not often science elicits positive emotion from this reviewer, but Dr. Henry Jekyll’s formula designed to separate a man’s inclination to be good from evil left me on the edge of my seat.
Jared Haddock, who plays Dr. Jekyll/Edward Hyde in the Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday cast of "Jekyll & Hyde" at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, exudes his soothing yet strong voice during the first scene, promising the audience an emotional performance as he serenades his mentally ill father in an insane asylum.
Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is known in the theater world to be one of the most challenging male roles, but Haddock brilliantly portrays the admirable ambition of Jekyll while shocking the audience with how easily he switches to the menacing, murderous Hyde.
Jekyll’s passion to heal the mentally ill and promote goodness in the world is summed up when he says, “Madness is the cruelest of all prisons,” and Haddock contradicts this role perfectly when, as Hyde, he says, “Nothing like a good laugh at a close friend's funeral.”
The show is robust with exciting musical numbers, and while the stage feels overpopulated and the choreography is sloppy during “Facade,” the chorus later makes up for it in Act 2, specifically through “Murder, Murder.”
Throughout the dark elements of the production, Cecily Bills, playing Jekyll’s fiancee, Emma Carew, exhibits unfaltering loyalty to the protagonist, even when it’s clear his dark side is all-consuming. Bills' voice is as sweet as her character’s demeanor and is one of the strongest in the show.
Bills and Haddock's chemistry was nearly palpable and was skillfully manipulated when Lucy Harris, a woman forced to work as a prostitute for room and board, enters Jekyll’s life.
Holly Jo Cushing is a prime choice to play Harris. She set the stage on fire with her performance of “Bring on the Men,” a risque yet tasteful number that takes place in a seedy nightclub, but she also melts the audience’s hearts with her lament in “Someone Like You.”
Although the cast belts each lyric with vigor, the chorus wasn’t always in sync, making some of the lines easy to miss.
The visual elements of the musical were on point, including special effects adapted from the Broadway production. The lighting was dramatic yet not overbearing, and each costume was decadent and unique.
Overall, it was a winning cast and a gripping interpretation of a thrilling seasonal production.
Content advisory: Due to the show's “mature themes,” including a character who works as a prostitute, the theater recommends audience members for “Jekyll & Hyde” be over the age of 12.
Megan Marsden Christensen writes for KSL and graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor's degree in communication.