Friday, January 11, 2013

The Kennedy Center

Location: The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, USA
Visited: November 2012

This was my first visit to The Kennedy Center and my second time seeing the musical Jekyll and Hyde. I had loved it the first time around and my husband had enjoyed listening to the soundtrack, but this version was kind of flat. The show itself had changed a little bit, with some songs replaced and others rewritten. A few of the changes made sense, making the story a bit clearer (I can recall, for example, not quite getting that the people killed were the board of governors when I first saw it, for example), but all in all there were far too many ballads. "Murder Murder" was slowed down and the new song "Bring on the Men" just didn't fit at all. The two leads were pop stars - Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox - and while the singing was excellent, the blocking left a lot to be desired. There was a lot of standing still with arms hanging at one's sides while singing. The lighting was also rather dark, making it quite difficult to discern details. I was especially disappointed with the song "Confrontation", which had so impressed me the first time around. It's a "duet" between Jekyll and Hyde, played by the same man, but for this production they chose to prerecord Hyde's part and project it onto a screen while Jekyll sang live. Oh well. We still had a great time, as we always do at the theater.

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