JEKYLL & HYDE (PANTAGES THEATRE): 68% – BITTERSWEET

Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox in “Jekyll and Hyde” at the Pantages Theatre. Credit: Chris Bennion.

BITTER
But like Dr. Jekyll scrambling to undo the chemical formula that has turned him into a part-time lunatic, Calhoun lacks the fundamental ingredients to pull off the transformation. Which is to say he’s stuck with Leslie Bricusse’s book and lyrics and Frank Wildhorn’s music, and not even the most resourceful chef can make a gourmet meal when bound to a chain restaurant recipe.
Charles McNulty – LA Times

BITTERSWEET
The show feels like a Victorian-themed pop concert rather than musical theater. The multiple high-note hitting, overly amplified stuff that reality shows such as “American Idol” have made popular to a whole new and infinitely more forgiving audience, is the attraction. Purists will be disappointed; MTV and “Glee” audiences will jump to their feet.
Travis Michael Holder – Backstage

BITTERSWEET
Before Jekyll undergoes his first transmogrification, Maroulis sings “This Is the Moment,” and the orchestration requires that he sing it full tilt. But he’s been singing full tilt for two or three songs before this. In “Rock of Ages,” Maroulis offered up this kind of vocal overkill as parody. Here, when his Jekyll nails every high note to the back wall of the huge Pantages, there’s no place left for him to go as Hyde.
Robert Hofler – Variety

BITTERSWEET
These two performances are the reasons to see “Jekyll & Hyde.” As for the rest – well, you can marvel as you watch that they’ve now had 23 years to work out the kinks. Some things are unfixable.
Paul Hodgins – Orange County Register

BITTER
But this piece must rest, as well it should, on the shoulders of the actor selected to assay the titular roles. Unfortunately, in what can best be described as a disappointing example of “stunt” casting, Constantine Maroulis—he of American Idol fame—demonstrates that an otherwise amazing ability to “rock out” on what are clearly “legitimate” musical theater compositions seems merely self-indulgent and horribly out of place.
Dink O’Neal – ArtsInLA

BITTERSWEET
As a show with music and fun visual distractions, “Jekyll & Hyde” fills the bill. As a horror musical, it is not worthy of the Pantages and certainly not worthy of Broadway.
Sarah Itkis – Neon Tommy

SWEET
This show is graphic in the sense of theatrical murders and visual representation of Mr. Hyde’s victims, but I think young adult audience will enjoy the rock stylized versions of the songs and visually compelling sets.
Lorenzo Marchessi – NoHoArtsDistrict

SWEET
The production design by Tobin Ost is spellbinding without going over the top, and the performances by everyone involved are pitch perfect.
Kevin P. Taft – Frontiers

SWEET
This musical thriller, with book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and music by Frank Wildhorn, never rises above the level of melodrama, but it’s thumping good melodrama.
Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

BITTERSWEET
These extra-amplified distractions of nifty high-tech theatrical effects (oooh, look at those giant test tubes with color-changing bubbly water!), more modernized pop/rock orchestrations, and ovation-worthy, slam-dunk singing—the efforts of which, I must stress again, I do genuinely appreciate—all can’t quite erase how frustratingly flawed this show has always been and perhaps always will be.
Michael L. Quintos – BroadwayWorld

BITTER
I wasn’t a fan of this show before, and nothing here has changed my mind. The songs are banal and the lyrics, worse. Mr. Calhoun seems to think that if you ratchet up the volume loud enough and add enough visuals (mostly projections), you can hypnotize your audience into believing they are actually watching something good. You can’t and they’ll know it.
Macho Show Queen – Los Angeles Magazine

JEKYLL & HYDE
Pantages Theatre
6233 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays
Feb. 12–March 3, 2013
Tickets: $25-$125; (800) 982-2787
Running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes

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LemonMeter About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.

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  1. A Producer says:

    Best comment I’ve heard about this production:

    “His screechy singing makes it hard to nap.”