Jekyll and Hyde (theatre)

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Man is not one, but two;
He is evil and good.
And he walks the fine line
We'd all cross if we could!
And he's waiting...right behind the facade.

The stage adaptation of The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde written by Broadway veterans Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse.

The tumultuous history of the musical production bears some mentioning if only for the sheer amount of Cut Songs it generated. The first iteration of the show was played in Houston in 1990 and an album of that show was released featuring Colim Wilkinson and Linda Eder as the leads. It was popular enough that some of the songs became breakout hits ("This Is The Moment", for example, was played on the American broadcast of the 1992 Winter Olympics) and that people with more money than sense jumped on the show and pulled it in "14 different directions", eventually miring the production in legal tangles and a shaky attempt in a national tour. The writers decided to produce a new concept album in 1994 of the fully rewritten show which at least structurally resembled what would be the final form of the musical. It went through more rounds of cuts and rewrites before it finally premiered on Broadway in 1997. It ran for over 1500 shows, making it the longest running show at the Plymoth Theatre where it played, but still managed to lose money. It also had lackluster reviews but largely carried through on the backs of its extremely devoted fanbase, called "Jekkies".


Tropes used in Jekyll and Hyde (theatre) include:
  • Acting for Two: In all of its incarnations, the same actor plays Jekyll and Hyde
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations
  • The Artifact: Simon was originally going to have a bigger part, to be eventually revealed as the benefactor of the Red Rat. But the love triangle-and-a-half was already complicated enough without adding him in. The end result was him showing up in one of the first scenes to imply having feelings for Emma, and then vanishing completely until the last scene.
  • Asshole Victim: The Bishop of Basingstoke turns out to be a pedophile; he's the first to die. The other board members are more obnoxious and snooty than anything else and certainly don't deserve to die for it.
  • Badass Boast: Hyde's song "Alive!" in both its Concept Album and Broadway iterations.

Hyde: I have a thirst that I cannot deprive, never have I felt so alive! There is no battle I couldn't survive! Feeling like this... feeling alive!

    • Not quite badass, but Jekyll pretty much sings an entire love song to himself in "This is the moment"
  • Bad Girl Song: Most productions give Lucy one.
  • Betty and Veronica: A strange case. Emma is wealthy and engaged to Henry, Lucy is penniless and Henry's rather oblivious to how much she loves him. They both seem to be Betty-Veronica hybrids, and science is his Third Option Love Interest.
  • Bleached Underpants: Lucy's occupation as a prostitute was much more blatant in the 1994 concept recording; in the Broadway version she is obstinately a singer.
    • They didn't exactly transfer the prostitute-to-singer thing very well, as she has a boss that acts exactly like a pimp, and she acts as if she's obligated to have sex with customers, oh and the place she works at is a tavern (?) called the Red Rat in a particularly shady part of town.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: "This is the Moment" in the 90s.
  • Concept Album: The first and second releases of the soundtrack.
  • Counterpoint Duet: Lucy and Emma about Jekyll in "In His Eyes", Jekyll vs. Hyde in "Confrontation" (Except the same actor plays both...).
  • Crowd Song: "Facade", "Murder! Murder!"
  • Cut Song: Lots and lots and lots. Including one that sounds eerily similar to "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd".
    • Several of the cut songs from the concept album have been reinstated in international productions and the US tour, and the versions available for school and community theatre productions include many of them as well.
  • Dark Reprise: Lots.
    • "Facade" is a pretty dark song already, but still manages to get four reprises and two of them are even darker.
    • Ditto "Lost In The Darkness", a dark song managing to be darker -- the first time it's about Jekyll's father, the second it's about himself.
    • Lucy sings "Sympathy, Tenderness" about Jekyll -- the tune is reprised by Hyde as he is stabbing her to death.
    • In the concept album, Jekyll got a Dark Reprise of Emma's "Once Upon A Dream".
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The hospital board meeting, the engagement party, the visit to the Red Rat...
  • Downer Ending: See...
  • Driven to Suicide: Utterson was originally supposed to shoot Jekyll which would have made this I Cannot Self-Terminate, but in the final version Utterson balks, forcing Jekyll to run himself onto Utterson's drawn swordstick. Also see...
  • Dying as Yourself
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Confrontation".
  • Fighting From the Inside/"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight - the ending.
  • Follow the Leader: It probably wasn't written as an answer to Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera but that show's popularity, combined with its unavailability to theater companies, undoubtedly helped this horror-romance musical get the attention it did and as many productions as it has. It's the show equivalent of The Poor Mans Substitute.
    • The music style and romantic triangle also had a noticeable resemblance to Les Misérables
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Lucy.
  • "I Am" Song: "Emma's Reasons", "Take Me As I Am" (Jekyll and Emma), "Alive!" (Hyde), the Cut Song "Girls Of The Night" (Lucy).
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Inverted. John finds he can't Mercy Kill Jekyll, forcing the latter to hurl himself on John's blade instead.
  • "I Want" Song: "This Is The Moment", "Someone Like You", "A New Life", Jekyll's Cut Song "I Need To Know".
  • Jekyll and Hyde: No kidding?
  • Lost in Imitation: Jekyll's romantic travails come from movie adaptations, not the book.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Sigh, where to begin! Simon Stride likes Emma who loves Jekyll who loves her back while Lucy loves him too. Jekyll is also attracted to Lucy but this only comes out when he's Hyde, who is obsessed with Lucy. This gets more complicated in early versions where Stride is also attracted to Lucy.
  • Loving a Shadow: Lucy knows virtually nothing about Henry at all besides the fact that he is wealthy and doesn't treat her like dirt. Even though he barely remembers her existence, she seems to romanticize him as a way out of her life as a "singer".
  • Mad Scientist: Obviously.
  • Male Gaze: In the DVD recording, there's a scene where Lucy is carried off stage and the camera angle seems to have a perfect view of seeing straight down her cleavage.
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "Your Work And Nothing More" near the end of Act 1 where all the characters worry about Jekyll who has become a recluse.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Hyde vs the Bishop.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In the Hasselhoff version at least, no one seems to recognize Jekyll from Hyde at all, and are shocked to witness his transformation, despite the fact that they look, sound, and dress identically, the only difference being sometimes Jekyll's hair isn't in his face, but not always.
  • Pedophile Priest: The Bishop of Basingstoke.
  • Politically-Correct History: Dr Jekyll has a Black Best Friend
  • Selfcest: The cover of the David Hasselhoff DVD looks like Jekyll and Hyde are having an intimate moment.
  • Shallow Love Interest: Emma doesn't seem to have much to her character beyond "Jekyll's Fiancée". Even Lucy, who is given much more time and focus only seems to exist as "Girl who likes Jekyll".
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Sir Danvers Carew, the only character to be murdered in the original work, gets off scot free at the end. Unlike much of the supporting cast.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The death of The Bishop of Basingstoke at the end of Act I. Hyde corners the unwitting Bishop in an alley and this exchange occurs:

The Bishop: Don't you know who I am?!
Hyde: Yes! I know exactly who... you... are. Eminent churchman and philanthropist, friend to those in need... especially of the female gender and years still tender. Who does not know Rupert, 14th Bishop of Basingstoke, our city's most degenerate, diseased, and corrupt hypocrite! Hypocrite! Hypocrite! Hypocrite!

Hyde: Animals trapped behind bars in the zoo need to run rampant and free, predators live on the prey they pursue, and this time the predator's ME!

  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Murder! Murder!"
  • Woman in White: Lucy wears a fancy white kimono style nightgown to bed. Which is odd considering she's supposed to be dirt poor and the other scenes had her wandering around in ratty old sweaters and rags.
    • One could Hand Wave that either a wealthy customer bought it for her, or that she saved up enough money to buy herself at least one nice item of clothing.