'Jekyll & Hyde' a classic tale of horror

Sunday , October 22, 2017 - 12:00 AM

By KADE COMBE
TX. Correspondent

“Jekyll & Hyde” has come to the stage at Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse in Washington Terrace.

Based on the classic horror story by Robert Louis Stevenson, “Jekyll & Hyde” has been terrorizing theater audiences since 1997 when it first appeared on Broadway. Since then, the musical has been performed by numerous professional theaters, community theaters and high school theaters across the world.

The production of “Jekyll & Hyde” at the Terrace Plaza Playhouse is directed by Dennis Ferrin, retired theater director from Layton High School. He is an accomplished director and choreographer and “Jekyll & Hyde” certainly shows it.

Ferrin perfectly captures the extent and horror of Dr. Henry Jekyll’s madness and transformation into Edward Hyde. Through clever use of stage placement and set design, he fully recreates the story locations in the musical.

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The technical directors on “Jekyll & Hyde” are Don Wilhelm and D.D. Lynch, both of whom have more than 20 years of experience in the technical field. Through clever and subtle lighting cues, Wilhelm can provide a sense of spooky horror. He can influence our reaction to the piece through knowledge of the emotional association of colors. He knows what we think of when we see red and other colors, and by clever manipulation of this, he can make us think of a certain character or a certain scene in a particular way.

Lynch can use sound as an effective way of telling the story without detracting from what is happening onstage. Sometimes, things happen off stage that need to be demonstrated with a sound effect. The sound effects chosen give a clear picture of things not seen such as radio voices, thunder, and even Jekyll’s own thoughts.

• Listen to a song from “Jekyll & Hyde”; story continues below video 

The role of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde was double cast and the day I was in the audience the actor was Matthew Hewitt. Hewitt cleverly showed us at the beginning of the show the extent of Dr. Jekyll’s passion for his work. Later in the musical, with Jekyll’s transformation into Mr. Hyde, Hewitt gives the audience a clear indication of who he is portraying at that moment. That is impressive considering that this role is extremely difficult to play. Hewitt did a wonderful job at staying within the characters and not breaking character when switching between Jekyll and Hyde.

The Terrace Plaza Playhouse’s production of “Jekyll & Hyde” is truly a show not to miss. As the musical is based on a classic horror story, it contains scenes of violence and scares which don’t make it a play for young children. However, adults and teens will certainly find this show entertaining.

“Jekyll & Hyde” runs through Nov. 11 at the playhouse, 99 E. 4700 South, Washington Terrace. For tickets, visit www.terraceplayhouse.com or call 801-395-0700.

Kade Combe is a junior at DaVinci Academy. He loves the theater, arts and technology; his favorite subject is history. Contact him at kadecombe00@gmail.com.

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