This is the Moment: Jekyll and Hyde Comes to Chicago Prior to Broadway
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 12:00 AM by Robert Bullen
It's the musical that wouldn't die. Despite incessent critical backlash, Jekyll and Hyde is one of those shows that's endured because audiences, quite simply, love it. Following several concept albums, regional productions and recordings of the breakout song "This Is the Moment," J&H opened on Broadway in 1999, starring composer Frank Wildhorn's muse (and wife at the time), Linda Eder. Even with standing ovations and a devoted fanbase (called "Jekkies"), the show closed two years later at a financial loss.
And now it's coming back to Broadway -- but not before a quick pitstop in Chicago.
I saw the national tour following the Broadway production around 2000 in Lansing, Mich., and it was, honestly, a creative cluster, filled with overwrought ballads, a book as subtle as a fart in a church pew and a bloated leading man performance by Chuck Wagner. (There's also a DVD of the Broadway production starring David Hasselhoff, got rest his soul -- but the less said about this recording and Hasselhoff's performance, the better). Still, it's a show millions love, much for the same reason people enjoy Phantom: accessible music, grand emotions and a big ol' dangerous love story.
So it's not so surprising that Jekyll and Hyde should make its Broadway return next month. But just before then, Chicago gets a preview when the show takes a pitstop at Chicago's Cadillac Palace from March 12 - March 24, with American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis as the two-faced J&H, and Canadian R&B singer Deborah Cox as the dark and stormy Lucy.
While the show has it's problems (and I'm not sure what the creative team has done, if anything, to fix the ones from the tour I saw 14 years ago), I'm looking forward to seeing Maroulis, who demonstrated his huge vocals and surprisingly unaffected acting style when the first national tour of Rock of Ages opened in Chicago a few years ago, take on this mammoth role. If anything, those powerballads will sound fantastic.
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