Jekyll And Hyde At The Union Theatrejekyll and hyde union theatre madalena alberto tim rogers joanna strand
Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:17 AM
I more or less loathed the last Kenwright tour, with one very big and very talented exception. Marti Pellow was IMO shocking but the girls were great, especially Sabrina. On one hand I'd like to see a good production of the piece that's had some thought and imaginitive artistic input into it, but on the other hand I don't really want to see anyone else play Lucy!
Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:34 AM
Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:07 AM
I am going to see this new production tomorrow.
Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:13 PM
But, that said, the show is not so much about Jekyll and Hyde as it is about providing a platform for Frank Wildhorn's big fat power ballads that could really be from any show - but are wonderful nevertheless. And the good news is that the Union has a cast who can sing them. The three leads are especially terrific. Tim Rogers is all you could ask for as Jekyll/Hyde but it's the ladies who stand out because they have the best songs. When Madalena Alberto (Lucy) and Joanna Strand (Emma) blend their voices in the soaring In His Eyes duet we are in music theatre heaven. Ms Alberto is especially fabulous - what a voice.
It's a big production for the Union featuring an excellent five piece band - and this show is all about the music.
Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:04 AM
Where to begin. First, the leading man Tim Rogers. TBH, I was expecting a more generous voice from a man who has sung in numerous musicals and operas. I even thought he was an understudy first. So, singing-wise, he was a slight dissapointment. But his acting more than made up for it. What a performance. He was all over the place, totally forcused and comitted throughout, and therefore 100% convinging.
Having said that, I didn't see enough distinction between Jekyll and Hyde, not like the BW version. This problem would have been a lot more noticable had his overall acting been less passionate. But as it happened, his committed performance made me forget all the problems. Oh, just one more thing, I thought there should have been more sexual tension (of which plenty follows later) between Jekyll and Lucy when the former was dressing the latter's wounds. Lucy was clearly attracted to him, but Jelyll was all business-like. But again, this must have been the direction.
Anyway, those matters aside, I think he did a fantastic job. I even quite liked the understated version of This is the Moment in the kitchen. He didn't belt out as this song usually is, but just sang in a suitable style to the kitchen/sitting room setting (maybe a wierd thing to say,,,I know..).
As for the two leading ladies, Wow, what more can you ask for? They were both simply perfect. Incredible performances in such a tiny theatre. As I sat in the 2nd row, they were so close and I could see all the emotions in their huge beautiful eyes. Stunning.
Loved all the rest of the cast each of whom played mutiple roles effortlessly. Especially John and Emma's father. The middle-aged actress who first played Lady someone later reappeared as an aging prostitute in a mini skirt. Very versatile. Their level of singing was high all the way. It was thrilling to hear them sing all together in power chorus such as Murder Murder. It was also nice to see some faces I'd seen in other musicals in the past.
I liked the set designs. The sliding doors at the back were smartly used for quick set changes - just a change of a chair or a statue or little thing to suggest where we are now. The semi-revolve was effective - it became a back garden, Lucy's tiny bedroom etc. Two doors at each end of the stage were well used too. The one at the stage right had a curtain made of black bin-liners. Ha ha ha.
The band was of a fine quality. The flutist also played a saxophone or something, so in total there must have been at least 6 instruments. What a luxury to have a good live band in such a small theatre. And all the actors sang without mic, of course.
The final death scene was unexpected. We didn't expect Jekyll to go in that manner, and therefore, all the more effective.
Talking of death, I was irritated by last night's audience. They laughed in wrong places, OK when the Lady someone was strangled by her own handbag and chucked into a nearby dustbin could have been just about funny if you strech it. But after Lucy's death, I thought nothing should have been taken as funny. Such as when Hyde plays with Lucy's limp dead body, using it like a puppet. That was chilly and awful, and NOT funny. But people were laughing out loud. I really wanted to turn around and slap them.
But anyway, it was a fabulous production played by very able actors with so much passion and commitment. After seeing a show like this, I find it a little difficult to go back to seeing big WE shows with arrogant management attiitudes and sometimes less-than-able cast members. But that is another story....
Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:58 AM
Posted 03 June 2012 - 01:31 PM
As I've always liked the songs in this musical, I didn't notice the one-dimentionalness of the music. But yes, a few songs of totally different shades and moods wouldn't do the piece any damage, I don't think.
I was plenty impressed by Tim too. Probably I was being super-picky.
Posted 13 June 2012 - 04:15 PM
I've found this interesting interview with Madalena and Tim Rogers, in case you'd like to have more information about it:
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