What happens to the evil?

My wife's parents flew out today; they've been visiting us for a while now.  We had a good time while they were here.  It was especially nice that they watched the kids for us for most of the day last Sunday.  We took the opportunity to catch the final matinee of 'Jekyll & Hyde' at the Kennedy Center.

My wife wasn't familiar with the show at all (or the original story, come to that).  I had the original concept album, and had listened to it many times, but hadn't seen it either.

They were apparently trying to drive attendance by getting stars that were known outside of Broadway.  I have no great issue with that, although I hadn't heard of the two stars before (Constantine Maroulis (of American Idol fame, it seems) and Deborah Cox (of R&B fame)).

I had some minor issues with the sound, although I do wonder how much of that was a matter of how far back we were sitting (we bought the tickets the night before), and how much was performance-related.  I should get the new 'concept album' to compare, I think.

In general, I didn't like the pacing in the newer version.  That was especially true in 'Bring On the Men', which was much choppier, but it was noticeable in other pieces as well.  And I wasn't thrilled with Mr Maroulis (his performance was where I was particularly wanting to compare the album), especially as Jekyll (and especially in the beginning).  I thought he did a much better job as Hyde, and towards the later parts of the show.

Ms Cox was excellent throughout, I thought.  In fact, she was good enough that I bought a couple of her R&B albums, out of curiosity.  Disappointing there, though; the material just didn't do much for me.  Ah well.

Two more criticisms related to the new version.  I was disappointed that the subplot between Lisa (whose name, inexplicably to me, changed to Emma) and Stride was gone; I particularly missed their duet at the engagement party (it also removed any reason not to kill Stride in the bloodbath at the beginning of Act II).  And the penultimate scene, with Jekyll and Hyde, seemed a bit off.  They added so much distortion to Hyde's voice (coming from a recording, obviously) that it was unintelligible.  Adding a little distortion there made sense, but it sounded terrible, to put it mildly.

But it was good to see the whole show.  I hadn't realized (or had forgotten) that Facade was sung by the members of the Board of Governors of the hospital.  That was a cool scene, starting with them largely undressed, and dressing them onstage to that song.  Very nice.  And the setup for 'This is the Moment' was pretty cool as well (this was also the turning point for Mr Maroulis' performance; I was very disappointed with him until this song.  He was good to excellent the rest of the way).

Overall, well worth seeing, and I'm glad we had the chance.

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