The epic struggle between good and evil comes to life on stage in the musical phenomenon, Jekyll & Hyde, at the Portsmouth Little Theater, on Lawson Street in Portsmouth, Ohio, Friday and Saturday October 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. with matinee performances on Sat Oct 22 and 29 at 2 p.m. Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson and featuring a score of pop rock hits from multi-Grammy- and Tony-nominated Frank Wildhorn and double-Oscar- and Grammy-winning Leslie Bricusse, Jekyll & Hyde has mesmerized audiences the world over.
An evocative tale of two men – one, a doctor, passionate and romantic; the other, a terrifying madman – and two women – one, beautiful and trusting; the other, beautiful and trusting only herself– both women in love with the same man and both unaware of his dark secret. A devoted man of science, Dr. Henry Jekyll is driven to find a chemical breakthrough that can solve some of mankind’s most challenging medical dilemmas. Rebuffed by the powers that be, he decides to make himself the subject of his own experimental treatments, accidentally unleashing his inner demons along with the man that the world would come to know as Mr. Hyde. The play is directed by Eric Armstrong stars Dr. Vincent Scarpinato as Dr. Jekyll and Jason Chaney as Mr. Hyde.
Scarpinato again tackles a role he can sink his teeth into.
“I saw the Broadway show several times and fell in love with the production. I have always loved this beautiful score and although it is an incredibly challenging role to sing, I have always been drawn to it,” Scarpinato said. “One of the most iconic songs from the show, called ‘This is the Moment’ has always inspired and resonated with me.”
The play takes play in London in 1885. Dr. Jekyll presents his proposal to test a groundbreaking formula that he has created, which will separate the dual natures of man. Jekyll explains his theory that, in each person, there are two personalities, one good and one evil, which are constantly at war; he suggests that it is possible to separate these two warring personalities and to isolate the functional, good component from the dysfunctional, evil component.
“I truly enjoy the challenge of dissecting a role and trying to make my own statement,” Scarpinato said. “Working with this incredibly talented cast and crew has made the experience, enjoyable and rewarding.”
This musical production will be presented in concert version focusing on the thrilling score by Frank Wildhorn who brought such classic productions to the Broadway stage as The Scarlet Pimpernel, Civil War and Dracula, The Musical. The Portsmouth Little Theatre’s production team of Armstrong and Linda Tieman who brought to the local stage: You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees and the unforgettable sold out production of Little Shop of Horrors have joined forces once again as director and musical director of this exhilarating tale of duality.
Scarpinato said, of Armostrong – “He brings his vast acting and directing talents to the Portsmouth Little Theatre with incredible insight and energized enthusiasm and just a little something extra. He always inspires a little magic in every production and although I am biased, I think he’s an exceptional director with great vision, insight and passion.”
With the assistance of stage manager Guinevere Mercer, the cast will feature local performers including Olivia Morgan and Mckenzie Maple as Lucy Harris and Emma Carew, the two love interests of Henry Jekyll. Gary Tieman and Scott Noel will portray Sir Danvers Carew and Mr. John Utterson.
Both Scarpinato and Chaney are veterans of the Portsmouth Little Theatre each with several Marlowe awards between them. Mr. Chaney was most recently seen in Daddy’s Dyin’, Who’s Got the Will? and Dr. Scarpinato was last seen on the PLT stage as Emile de Becque in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Both are delighted to share the iconic role of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde.
Tickets are on sale now on the theatre’s website: PLTLive.com or at the box office one hour prior to each performance.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.