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Theater Review: 'Jekyll & Hyde' -- No stars

Constantine Maroulis, left, and Deborah Cox during a

Constantine Maroulis, left, and Deborah Cox during a performance of "Jekyll & Hyde" (Credit: Constantine Maroulis, left, and Deborah Cox during a performance of "Jekyll & Hyde")

Jekyll & Hyde
NO STARS

The undying popularity and cult status of Frank Wildhorn’s overblown pop-rock musical “Jekyll & Hyde” certainly makes for one of the strangest sagas in recent Broadway history.

Although the original production, which opened in 1997, ran for four years, it somehow failed to turn a profit. It also attracted a dedicated group of fans known as the “Jekkies.” Toward the end of its run, the production was filmed with David Hasselhoff playing both Jekyll and Hyde.

Unbelievably enough, it is actually easier to watch YouTube clips of Hasselhoff than Jeff Calhoun’s (“Newsies”) re-conceived, garish and extremely unnecessary revival with “American Idol” alumnus Constantine Maroulis and R&B singer Deborah Cox, which is playing a short run on Broadway following a national tour.
Calhoun makes many unfortunate choices, including over-stressing the score’s rock elements and using both nauseating video graphics and violent sexual imagery.

While a few of Wildhorn’s anthems are admittedly catchy, especially “This is the Moment,” the majority of the score is junk while the book is hackneyed good-versus-evil melodrama.

Maroulis, who earned a Tony nomination for his solid performance in “Rock of Ages,” uneasily alternates between being a geeky Jekyll and a vulgar Hyde. Cox sings well enough but hardly acts at all in the role of the prostitute Lucy, which may be for the better.

“Jekyll & Hyde” plays at the Marquis Theatre through June 30. 1535 Broadway, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
 

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