Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Some critics dismiss “American Idol” as an insignificant talent show generating a fleeting ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ for a few aspiring singers. Season four contestant Constantine Maroulis would likely disagree after earning a Tony Award in the musical “Rock of Ages” and now landing the lead in the musical adaptation of “Jekyll & Hyde,” which is currently playing in Tampa.
Starring alongside Deborah Cox (Billboard R&B Pop star) in Frank Wildhorn’s adaptation of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, Maroulis shines from start to finish. Like Daniel Radcliffe’s maturity and growth in the ‘Harry Potter’ series, the long-haired pop icon from “Idol” has developed into an impressive Broadway stage presence.
The classic tale follows Dr. Jekyll (Maroulis) as a devout man of science seeking to find a chemical formula to eliminate the evil side of humanity. After a failed attempt to garner support from the ‘power that be,’ the scientist becomes his own guinea pig and unleashes his own dark side – Mr. Hyde.
Director Jeff Calhoun does an adequate job of showcasing the vocally talented Cox from her stage entrance on “Bring on the Men” and her crowd pleasing climax “A New Life” where the singer stretched her range.
Teal Wicks co-stars as Jekyll’s fiance, Emma, and delivers a more satisfying stage performance and an impressive duet with Cox titled “In His Eyes.”
It doesn’t take long for fans to embrace Jekyll’s ambitious journey to eradicate “anger, violence and strife” and bring down the “facade” – to quote from two of the songs. Maroulis is the star of the show and delivers throughout the presentation, especially during “This is the Moment,” which is the prelude to his initial transformation and Hyde’s shocking awakening in “Alive.”
There are a few awkward transitions and the ending seems a bit rushed, but the modern “True Blood” fan can connect with the interpretation and music.
Tampa is just one stop on the 25 city tour which will culminate the Broadway debut in Spring 2013.
Check out the website: http://www.jekyllandhydemusical.com/
To get tickets for the remaining shows in Tampa, visit: http://www.strazcenter.org/Events/1213_Broadway/Jekyll_and_Hyde.aspx