Shows J

JEKYLL AND HYDE Book and lyrics by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, music by Michael Skloff: based on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Promenade Theatre Off-Broadway - 25 June, 1990 (45 perfs) SYNOPSIS Robert Louis Stevenson's gothic thriller is transformed into a superb contemporary musical about a teenage chemistry wiz who creates a substance which changes him from a nerd into the coolest kid in school. When craving for the substance takes over his life, he decides to stop using it, cannot, and realizes that he needs help. This powerful musical examines the alarming issues of substance abuse and the critical role that self-esteem plays in the deadly drama of addiction. STORY A troupe of actors in Victorian costume addresses the audience (“Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”). They tell the story of Dr. Jekyll, a good and decent scientist who invented a potion to turn himself into the murderous Mr. Hyde, and who died as a result of his dangerous experimentation. But there’s another story to be told. Henry Meckler, a high-school student, reads Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and becomes obsessed with it. Henry is a straight-A student and president of the chemistry club, but he can’t talk to Chelsea McFadden, the girl he has a crush on. His best (and only) friend, Stuart, advises him to make up lies to impress her (he’s a champion surfer, he was raised in Africa). But when Henry decides to march right up to her and ask her out, he’s intercepted by Chuck Vernicker, the class bully, who robs and humiliates him in front of Chelsea…like every other day. But today, Henry vows to change things by changing himself. He tells Stuart that he’s going to recreate Dr. Jekyll’s formula (“What If…”). After all, if a person is only chemicals, why not alter a few of those chemicals a bit? Stuart tells Henry he’s crazy, but Henry withdraws into his garage laboratory. For weeks, he hides not only from his family, but from Stuart, who is tormented by an alcoholic father, and desperately needs his best friend’s ear, and reminds Henry of his promise never to tell anybody else about it. Meanwhile, Henry finishes his potion, drinks, and…nothing happens. Despondent, Henry joins his ever-patient parents and his squabbling brother and sister at the dinner table (“Just Once”). As Tony and Beth scream and carry on, their parents urge them to be more like quiet, obedient Henry. But in the middle of his father telling about his day at the bank, Henry begins to change (“Something’s Happening”). He runs from the room. The next day at school, everybody’s gossiping about the handsome, confident “New Kid.” Chelsea and her friend, Marissa, flirt with him. Even Stuart doesn’t recognize him, and he introduces himself as Eddie. Eddie faces down Chuck, and stops him from bullying Stuart. He intimidates his teacher, Mr. Hebner, into letting him into history class, and stands up and asks Chelsea out in front of everybody. She says yes. Eddie is everybody’s hero. But Stuart is worried about Henry, wondering why his friend missed school for the first time ever. But Henry was there, and he proves it by recounting the events of the day to Stuart. Then he reveals his secret: he drinks his potion and turns into Eddie (“More”). He feels great, and he pressures Stuart to join him. Stuart declines, first politely and then more firmly. Eddie starts to threaten Stuart, then changes his mind: “If you don’t want any, that just leaves me more.”