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Theatre / Jekyll & Hyde

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Man is not one, but two;
He is evil and good.
And he walks the fine line
We'd all cross if we could!
And he's waiting...right behind the facade.

The musical stage adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Broadway veterans Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse.

Dr. Henry Jekyll plans to change the world by finding a way to separate the good and evil parts of the human psyche, balancing that with his engagement to Miss Carew and prostitute Lucy Harris's attraction to him. When his experimental proposal is rejected by London's elite, Jekyll uses himself as the test subject and unleashes his darker half, Mr. Edward Hyde, upon the world—putting those he loves, those he hates, and Jekyll himself in mortal danger. While Jekyll, like every man, has good and evil inside him, Hyde alone is only evil...

The show is notable for its lengthy production history and the amount of changes made to the songs, characters, and story over time, with a whopping six concept albums released over varying stages of productions and revivals. Most stage productions combine elements and songs from various releases.

This show contains examples of:

  • Actionized Adaptation: The musical adds more action than the book it's based on, with Hyde getting an entire song about murdering people. It culminates in a standoff at Jekyll's wedding, and versions that have Jekyll and Hyde played by different actors tend to stage "Confrontation" as a fight scene.
  • Adapted Out: Dr. Lanyon, the first person to see Jekyll transform in the book, doesn't appear in the musical, nor do Enfield, Bradshaw, or Guest.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Utterson's name went from Gabriel John to simply John.
    • Characters' names changed from the pre-Broadway tours to Broadway; Lord Savage's name went from Herbert to Theodore, and Lisa became Emma. The pub where Lucy works went from the Dregs to the Red Rat, and the 2012 version named it the Spider's Web.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: It's an adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
  • Animal Testing: A throwaway line in the '94 recording mentions Jekyll first experimenting on animals.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Jekyll is pitching his idea to the Board of Governors, the Bishop of Basingstoke asks him a question (one that the audience will know is an extremely important question) that Jekyll cannot answer and instead opts to deflect with emotional appeals about the plights of the mentally ill:
    Bishop of Basingstoke: And what if you're right, Jekyll, and you do manage to separate good from evil? What happens to the evil!?
  • The Artifact: Simon Stride had a bigger part in the concept albums; he vowed revenge on Jekyll for stealing Lisa, was revealed as the benefactor of the Dregs, got his own song explaining his philosophy, sabotaged Jekyll's chemicals, and planted Jekyll's letter to Lucy for Lisa to find before being killed at the wedding as Hyde revealed his crimes. In most versions he shows up in one of the first scenes to imply having feelings for Emma, rejects Jekyll's experiment with the governors, and then vanishes completely until the last scene, where he's killed. Some versions reinstate his larger role.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: In "Confrontation," Hyde mentions that he'll be inside Jekyll as long as he lives, as mankind's evil nature isn't something that can just vanish.
  • Asshole Victim: The Bishop of Basingstoke turns out to be a Pedophile Priest; he's the first to die. The other board members are more obnoxious and snooty than anything else and certainly don't deserve to die for it, with the exception of Simon Stride, especially in the concept albums where he's the benefactor of the Red Rat and sabotages Jekyll's chemicals to have a chance with Lisa.
  • Badass Boast: Hyde's song Alive! in both its concept album and Broadway iterations.
    Hyde: I have a thirst that I cannot deprive, never have I felt so alive! There is no battle I couldn't survive! Feeling like this... feeling alive!
    Hyde: Tonight, I'll plunder heaven blind, steal from all the gods! Tonight, I'll take from all mankind, conquer all the odds! I feel I'll live on forever! With Satan himself by my side!
  • Bad Girl Song: Lucy gets "Bring on the Men," "Girls of the Night," or "Good 'n' Evil."
  • Betty and Veronica: Emma is wealthy and engaged to Henry, Lucy is penniless and Henry's rather oblivious to how much she loves him. They both seem to be Betty-Veronica hybrids, and science is his Third-Option Love Interest.
    • Lucy is in love with Jekyll (Betty) while being harassed by the vicious Hyde (Veronica).
    • Emma is in love with simple doctor Jekyll (Betty) over the well-off Simon Stride (Veronica). In some versions Stride is also interested in Lucy, becoming the Veronica to Jekyll and the Betty to Hyde.
  • Big "NO!": Lisa/Emma usually lets loose with one of these when Jekyll is shot/stabs himself depending on the version.
  • Black Comedy: Act II opens with Hyde killing the board members in creative ways and the Londoners gossiping about it, culminating in a surefire way to pin down Hyde—murdering him. It's even worse in some productions where their prayer over Mass is "Take him and leave us lot here."
  • Composite Character: Utterson shares his own role as Jekyll's friend who helps investigate Hyde and Lanyon's role as the person who first sees him transform.
  • Concept Album: Six of them (1986, 1987, 1990, 1994, 2006, and 2012), of which four are commercially available. The 2012 edition is the basis of the 2013 Broadway Revival, which starred Constantine Maroulis and Canadian R&B singer Deborah Cox.
  • Counterpoint Duet: Lucy and Emma about Jekyll in "In His Eyes", Jekyll and Hyde in "Confrontation", where the same actor plays both parts, meaning he's talking to himself.
  • Crowd Song: "Facade" and its reprises, and "Murder! Murder!"
  • Dark Reprise: Lots.
    • "Facade" is a pretty dark song already, but still manages to get four reprises and two of them are even darker.
    • "Lost In The Darkness", a dark song managing to be darker. The first time it's about Jekyll's father, the second it's about Dr. Jekyll himself.
    • Lucy sings "Sympathy, Tenderness" about Jekyll. The tune is reprised by Hyde as he is stabbing her to death.
    • In the 1994 concept album, Jekyll got a Dark Reprise of Lisa's "Once Upon A Dream" after Hyde kills Lucy.
  • Darker and Edgier: The concept albums and later Broadway revivals are darker than the 1997 Broadway version, showing more clearly that many characters have a bad side and a good side, having Lucy be a prostitute instead of a singer, and having Hyde commit truly horrific deeds.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The board members tend to turn people into this, especially Jekyll, Emma, and Hyde. Although Hyde certainly didn't need any help.
  • Decomposite Character:
    • Simon Stride's role was split into two on Broadway, with the Spider taking his role as the Red Rat's benefactor and Lucy's handler.
    • Nellie's negative traits were given to Gwenny, a separate character.
  • Demoted to Extra: Utterson, the viewpoint character in the book, gets very few scenes in the first Broadway version. He had more to do in the concept album and later versions, but was still a minor character compared to the book.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The hospital board meeting, the engagement party, and the visit to the Red Rat serve to develop the characters Hyde's existence will ruin.
  • Downer Ending: Most of the characters are dead by the time the play ends, and those that aren't are traumatized.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • The powerful and uplifting number "This is the Moment" is made very ironic because we know that Dr. Jekyll is preparing to test out the serum that will transform him into the murderous Edward Hyde.
    • "In His Eyes," sung just after "Reflections" in some versions, details Emma and Lucy both singing about their love for Jekyll and how everything they need in his eyes... when neither of them knows about Hyde, the murders he committed, or that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person.
    • Hyde singles out upper-class hypocrites as his targets at first, ignoring that Jekyll himself is a hypocrite for creating Hyde and indulging in his vices.
    • The Bishop of Basingstoke has a question for Jekyll about his experiment during his proposal for human test subjects that only the audience can truly appreciate the importance of:
    Bishop of Basingstoke: And what if you're right, Jekyll, and you do manage to separate good from evil? What happens to the evil!?
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Utterson was originally supposed to shoot Jekyll which would have made this I Cannot Self-Terminate, but in the final version Utterson balks, forcing Jekyll to run himself onto Utterson's drawn swordstick. Some versions keep Utterson shooting him in.
    • Some variations have Jekyll attempt to kill himself during "Confrontation", however, Hyde doesn't take this well and they fight for control.
    • This version has a reprise of "Facade" after "Confrontation," leading to Emma finding Jekyll has killed himself just after they were married.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: "Reflections" directly quotes and paraphrases the novel as Jekyll comes to terms with being Hyde even after people are murdered. He pities his worse half and refuses to kill himself to stop him, so strong is Hyde's love of life.
  • Dying as Yourself: Jekyll wants to do this if nothing else, but Hyde says he'll live inside him forever.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Confrontation", which features a Talking To Themselves moment when Jekyll and Hyde duet.
  • Epic Rocking: Almost all of the musical is sung, and the Board of Governors scene in particular usually runs around 9 minutes.
  • Evil Feels Good:
    • Jekyll revels in the freedom he finds as Hyde until he can no longer control the transformations. The song Reflections directly paraphrases the book, as Jekyll pities Hyde and revels in his lust for life even after he murders people.
    • Simon Stride originally got "Good 'n' Evil" to explain his philosophy, as he felt being evil was more rewarding and fun than trying to be good. Some versions give the song to Lucy as an introduction.
  • Evil Is Petty: The 2011 UK Tour had Hyde popping a child's balloons and throwing another kid into a dustbin during "Alive."
  • Fantastic Drug: Formula HJ7, which turns Jekyll into Hyde. Some versions have him drink it, like the book, while others have him inject the serum.
  • Fatal Flaw: Jekyll's pride and stubbornness is his major character flaw, as he refuses to heed others' advice even when it's sound. The other characters lampshade this at times.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Hyde has a few nice lines when brutally murdering people.
  • Fighting from the Inside: The ending has Jekyll regain control long enough to let Emma go and kill himself to stop Hyde.
  • Foe Romance Subtext:
    • With lines in Confrontation like "They'll never be able to separate Jekyll from Hyde," this was kinda inevitable.
    • In early concepts Simon Stride's obsession with winning Lisa led him to a fixation with Jekyll, sarcastically apologizing to him early on and using Terms of Endangerment when sabotaging his chemicals.
  • Forceful Kiss: Depending on the production and actors, the kiss between Jekyll and Lucy after "Sympathy, Tenderness" might be this, especially if Jekyll is oblivious to her feelings.
  • For Science!: Jekyll's original motivation in the concept albums and the 2013 Broadway Revival, evidenced in "I Need To Know", which tends to open the show.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Sir Danvers Carew is the only person who can stand Simon Stride, a sexist jerk who works to bring Jekyll down at every opportunity. Simon gets invited to Jekyll and Emma's wedding, where Hyde kills him.
  • Gallows Humour: Hyde has several examples when he murders his enemies.
  • Gender Flip: This version gender-flipped several Board Members, Stride, and the Spider.
  • Good Is Impotent: "Good 'n' Evil" is about this trope, as evil is too widespread for goodness to matter.
  • Gossipy Hens: Londoners gossip about each other and the state of the city in "Facade," "Murder, Murder," and the usually-cut song "Bitch, Bitch, Bitch."
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Simon Stride is very jealous of Jekyll winning Lisa/Emma's hand and makes plans to bring him down.
  • Hate Sink: The Bishop, Gwenny, and Simon Stride have little to no redeeming qualities and mainly exist to oppose Jekyll, showcase London's hypocrisy, and let the viewers root for Hyde briefly. The Spider is an even bigger case, as he has no redeeming qualities and gets off scot-free for his mistreatment of Lucy.
  • Hero vs. Villain Duet: "Confrontation" is a duet of Jekyll and Hyde as they fight for control over their body. It's an unusual example, since both characters are the same person and, in most additions, they are both played by single actor.
  • Hotter and Sexier: "A Dangerous Game" has always had sexual undertones, but concert tour album Jekyll & Hyde Resurrection adds a heavy R&B beat. The 2012 version upon which the Broadway Revival is based cranks it even further. The subtext becomes text in the 2013 Revival, complete with Bondage Is Bad.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Lucy in most versions. Even in the original Broadway production where her prostitution is white-washed away, this is still the core of her character.
  • "I Am" Song: "Emma's Reasons", "Take Me As I Am" (Jekyll and Emma), "Alive!" (Hyde; also an "I Am Becoming" Song), "Girls Of The Night" (Lucy).
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Inverted. John finds he can't Mercy Kill Jekyll, forcing the latter to hurl himself on John's blade instead. Later versions of the show (notably a reworked High School Version personally rewritten by composer Frank Wildhorn himself) feature Jekyll outright committing suicide after "Confrontation" with Utterson acting as the Greek Chorus and having Emma stumble upon his body, bringing the show more in-line with the book it's based on.
  • "I Want" Song: "This Is The Moment", "Someone Like You", "A New Life", and "I Need To Know".
  • Implacable Man: Nothing and no one can stop Hyde once he decides to murder someone until Jekyll's wedding.
  • Intercourse with You: "A Dangerous Game" is about Lucy and Hyde having sex. It's taken even further in the 2013 Broadway version, where Hyde outright ties Lucy's wrists and takes her on a table.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Like the book, Jekyll enjoys being Hyde for a while, indulging in his vices and lust for life... until he starts killing people, at which point Jekyll becomes terrified of Hyde and himself, searching in vain for a cure.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: We already have ample reason to dislike Simon by the time he voices his own objections to Jekyll's proposed experiment, but he has a point that Henry's well-intentioned goals don't change the fact his intended method of using personality-altering drugs on another human being in an attempt to remove evil from them is incredibly unethical from a medical standpoint. It can be argued that since Jekyll has the measure of what a jackass Simon is and the fact he brings this up more to humiliate Jekyll than anything else, Jekyll inadvertently ignores the realization his experiment really is impossible to condone because the people shooting him down are such jerks about it.
  • Karma Houdini: The Spider and Gwenny get away with their mistreatment of Lucy and the other girls. This isn't the case in the concepts where the Spider's role was given to Simon Stride, who's killed at the wedding, and versions where Gwenny doesn't exist.
  • Last Girl Wins: Lisa/Emma used to date Simon before falling for Jekyll, making it an example of last guy wins.
  • Lighter and Softer: The 1997 Broadway version cut or changed many of the characters, songs, and story, making it shorter but less dark.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Lisa/Emma is the only major character to not know about Hyde at all until the final scene.
  • Lost in Imitation: Jekyll's romantic travails come from movie and play adaptations, not the book.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Simon Stride loves Emma who loves Jekyll who loves her back, while Lucy idolizes Jekyll but settles for Hyde. Jekyll is also attracted to Lucy, but this only comes out when he's Hyde, who is obsessed with her. This gets more complicated in versions where Stride is also attracted to Lucy.
  • Love Triangle: Emma/Jekyll/Lucy. Simon/Emma/Jekyll. And, of course, the crazy Jekyll/Lucy/Hyde triangle. In addition, some versions show Simon as attracted to Lucy, which adds a bit more complication.
  • Loving a Shadow: Lucy knows virtually nothing about Henry at all besides the fact that he is wealthy and doesn't treat her like dirt. Even though he barely remembers her existence, she seems to romanticize him as a way out of her life as a prostitute/singer.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Parts of "Alive," which are reprised in "Confrontation," sound extremely triumphant and hopeful as Hyde sings about living forever with Satan by his side and ensuring no one forgets his evil deeds.
  • Mad Scientist: Jekyll is directly called this at some points. Most of his problems stem from not realizing what's ethical and what isn't as well as not being able to take no for an answer.
  • Male Gaze: In the DVD recording, there's a scene where Lucy is carried off stage and the camera angle seems to have a perfect view of seeing straight down her cleavage.
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "Your Work And Nothing More" near the end of Act 1 where all the characters worry about Jekyll, who has become a recluse.
  • Mercy Kill Arrangement: Dr. Jekyll asks his friend Utterson to kill him should Jekyll's evil alter ego Mr. Hyde take control at an inconvenient time. Depending on the show, Utterson either shoots Jekyll at Jekyll's wedding after Hyde shows up and starts killing people, or Jekyll takes control one last time to run into Utterson's sword after Utterson finds himself unable to do it. In the 1994 concept album, some revivals, and the Vienna production, Utterson shoots Jekyll at the wedding reception to prevent him harming anyone else as Hyde.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: The love triangle is broken when Hyde kills Lucy. Since Jekyll loves Emma and Lucy loves Jekyll and Hyde lusts for Lucy and Emma, it's a little complicated.
  • Never My Fault: Jekyll blames Hyde for his crimes, not himself, admitting to Utterson that he can't bear to say "I".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "How Can I Continue On," Utterson inspires Jekyll to not give up on his work when he briefly considers the others are right. This leads Jekyll to a breakthrough, Hyde's emergence, and a lot of people dying.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The rarely-used song The World Has Gone Insane features either Jekyll having an awful nightmare or vividly hallucinating, transforming into Hyde for the latter portion of the song.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Hyde confronts the Bishop of Basingstoke in a dark alley. It doesn't go well for the Bishop.
  • Obsession Song: "It's a Dangerous Game" almost sounds like a romantic duet, except that it's about a psychotic killer stalking a prostitute who's too terrified of/fascinated by him to make a run for it.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: In versions where Utterson shoots Jekyll, he first shoots Hyde in the leg, who shrugs it off and takes Emma hostage.
  • Orifice Invasion: In the Broadway production Hyde kills Glossop by ramming his sword down his throat.
  • Painful Transformation: In both "Transformation" and "Confrontation", Hyde taking over Jekyll's body isn't pretty by any means. Anthony Warlow's scream in the 1994 Concept Album as Jekyll transforms into Hyde is utterly terrifying.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In the Hasselhoff version at least, no one seems to recognize Jekyll from Hyde at all, and are shocked to witness his transformation, despite the fact that they look, sound, and dress identically, the only difference being sometimes Jekyll's hair isn't in his face, but not always.
  • Pedophile Priest: The Bishop of Basingstoke in some productions.
  • Pet the Dog: Alone among the "hypocrites", Lord Savage seems to show concern for his fellows, making an attempt to rescue Lady Beaconsfield and expresses worry about Jekyll being next in line to be murdered when he attempts to flee to Scotland. Hyde kills him anyway.
  • Proper Lady: Emma is this, though she tells Simon that just because she's proper doesn't mean she's submissive.
  • Pure Is Not Good: In the 1994 recording, Hyde considers Jekyll a Shadow Archetype of himself in Confrontation and himself as pure—albeit pure evil.
    Hyde: I am pure; you are Hyde!
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Hyde brutally murders everyone that rejected Jekyll's work and made him angry.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "The World Has Gone Insane" features Jekyll having horrific nightmares and hallucinations, in some versions being attacked by the specters of those Hyde killed.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Emma doesn't have much to her character beyond "Jekyll's FiancĂ©e". Even Lucy, who is given much more time and focus, only seems to exist as "Girl who likes Jekyll". Emma even admits as such in earlier recordings, telling Jekyll that while she does have her own dreams, her world consists of him and his dreams.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: In the 1994 album, the 1995 tour, and 2006 Resurrection album Hyde's vocals in "Confrontation" are a backing track while Jekyll's are sung live.
  • Self-Censored Release: Lucy's occupation as a prostitute was much more blatant in the 1994 concept recording; in the 1997 Broadway version she is ostensibly a singer. Later versions re-added her original career.
  • Self Cest: The cover of the David Hasselhoff DVD looks like Jekyll and Hyde are having an intimate moment. The song "Confrontation" can also be seen as this, particularly if Jekyll and Hyde are separate actors.
  • Shadow Archetype: Hyde is one for Jekyll, as is Simon Stride, an outwardly respectable gentleman with a seedy double life.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Lucy much prefers Jekyll over Hyde. Emma, and, depending on the version, Lucy, prefers Jekyll over Simon Stride.
  • Skewed Priorities: From the perspectives of the other characters, anyway. Jekyll is late to his own engagement party because he made a breakthrough in his scientific work.
  • Small Start, Big Finish: "This is the Moment", which starts with Jekyll almost murmuring, but gradually grows louder and louder so that by the end he's shouting.
  • Solo Duet: "Confrontation" is sung with either a self-backing track or with both parts done live.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Sir Danvers Carew, the only character to be murdered in the original work, gets off scot free at the end. Unlike much of the supporting cast.
  • Taking You with Me: Jekyll threatens Hyde with this in "Confrontation", and follows through with it in the finale.
    Jekyll: If I die, you die too.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The death of the Bishop of Basingstoke at the end of Act I. Hyde corners the unwitting Bishop in an alley and proceeds to beat the Bishop to death with his own cane and set the body on fire. Of course, the Bishop was a pedophile and one of the few victims who had it coming.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Hyde, to Jekyll.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Multiple examples, and the key change often indicates the climax.
    • "This is the Moment" begins in E Major (4 Sharps) and the very last verse is in F Major (1 Flat).
    • Jekyll and Emma's "Take Me As I Am" is mostly in Bb Major (2 Flats) but the last verse is in regular B Major (5 Sharps).
    • Showstopper "I Need To Know" shifts from C Sharp Minor to D Minor.
    • The "Confrontation" song is a very interesting example. There are four individual rhythms in the song - one rhythm is Hyde singing alone (at the beginning of the song), and that is in the key of E Minor. Then when Jekyll and Hyde duet, the rhythm is fast-paced and in C Minor. It goes E to C one again, and then the last two verses ("For I'll live inside you forever" / "It's Over Now") are in a 3/4 time signature and in the key of A Minor. Shockingly, it all works.
  • Truer to the Text: Later Broadway revivals hew closer to the show's original vision, which was darker and edgier than the 1997 version and closer to the book, having Jekyll revel in the freedom Hyde gave him and paraphrasing directly from the book as he contemplated his dual natures. The most recent revision (a 2015 high school version personally reworked by Frank Wildhorn himself) even includes Jekyll's suicide in his lab just after the final reprise of "Facade".
  • Villain Love Song: "A Dangerous Game", as Hyde seduces Lucy.
  • Villain Song: Every version shares Hyde's "Alive!", though in different contexts.
    • The 1986 version has Hyde sing as he tries to figure out if he's alive, concluding that he is and settling on lust as his driving force, leading him to pursue Lucy.
    • In the 1994 Concept Album, Hyde sings it as he fights his way out of the Club/Whorehouse and pursues and attacks Lucy. It was presumably reprised later as he murdered the Bishop.
    • The 1995 tour had the initial scene be 8 minutes long and split up by "Lucy Meets Hyde," followed by a fistfight as he reprises the song. It was then reprised again as he attacked and killed the bishop.
    • On Broadway, the song is split in two to describe Hyde's birth as he goes through the streets, and then given a reprise as he murders the bishop by beating him to death with his own cane and then setting the body on fire.
    • In early versions Simon Stride got "Good 'n' Evil" as he lectured the Dregs' girls; the song was later given to Lucy on Broadway as a cabaret number.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Murder! Murder!" devotes verses to Hyde's murderous rampage across London and the hopes he'll be stopped.
  • Widowed at the Wedding: Lisa/Emma is left bereaved when Jekyll is fatally shot and/or kills himself either during the vows or at the afterparty to save her from Hyde.
  • World of Jerkass: The aristocracy is snobby and dismissive of Jekyll, in Simon's case outright hating him, and the lower-class aren't much better. Lisa/Emma, her father, Utterson, and Lucy are the only unambiguously good characters in the cast.