Snapshots from Green Victoria (tedwords) wrote,
Snapshots from Green Victoria
tedwords

Musical theater bullshit that's more for me than anyone else...

Jekyll and Hyde analysis, including an unflattering comparison between the play and Chess...


Aimee--Sorry it's taken me a bit to respond. I've been with the kids all night, and then called Tony to work through Murder, Murder. The good news: Krista is fine, and the operation didn't uncover anything serious. So I'm one very happy poppa right now...now, onto the questions...

Is Jeff in Murder Murder? I thought he was killed at the end of Act I. Is he coming back as a street person?

Quite frankly, we need strong mail voices, so if he could come back as a street person in Murder Murder, it'd be a blessing!

BTW, I've contacted my friend Rachel and she is very interested in joining the cast. She is a strong soprano and she's done the show before so she'd have no problem picking things up.

Let me know if Rachel can join. Love to have another strong soprano...and please keep me posted about Brian...

I really love the show but the book can be so bad sometimes. It's nice to see that you feel the same way and are trying different things to bridge some of the gaps in the book.

There are definite problem areas with the show, in all versions. I did take something from everything, to try and strengthen the core. There was some good dialogue I took from the DVD, but a fair share of bad dialogue, too. Tony and I were just discussing that. Take the start of Act Two, for example, where Sir Danvers says, "Henry was like a son to me." Huh? What???

You spoke about being open for discussion about the show and I was hoping at some point to talk about A Dangerous Game. It's a long way off so no rush. It's just that I've seen the dvd (and other stagings of it) and I was so disappointed about how it was done. By listening to the words of the song it seems like Lucy is strongly attracted to Hyde for a reason she doesn't understand (I'm thinking because she can since Jekyll in there somewhere). She doesn't want to be attracted and she fights it but she can't deny she is attracted to him somehow. Hyde also seems to alternately want to seduce her and hurting her because he's jealous of Jekyll. But whenever I've seen it staged it looked like she's completely disgusted the whole time and he seems like he'd rather just slit her throat right there. There was nothing sexy or conflicted about it at all for either of them, it just looked like a tug-of-war. I was wondering what you're take on that scene was. I was also wondering if you were going to stage it in the street like it says in the script or in her bedroom?

First: that scene's going to actually be staged in her dressing room, the one where she sings "No One Knows Who I Am." This is the easier transition, since we're going from Henry's lab to Emma stage right, Lucy stage left, with lab fading back. Also, it makes logical sense, since Spyder comes in after Hyde leaves to deliver the reprise.

Now, as for my take on the song. Despite the problematic nature of the script structure, one thing I will give Leslie Bricusse credit for is that the book certainly manages to cover two things well: the love triangle that is established (at least, in terms of the the emotions the characters express about being in love--how they end up being in love is another story altogether...), as well as the theme of duality that runs throughout the show (and in some cases, such as the case of "Good and Evil," that theme is driven home using a sledgehammer, no?)

"A Dangerous Game" captures both. It is the third piece in a trio of duets that captures each side of the triangle (square?): Emma/ Jekyll, Emma/Lucy, Lucy/Hyde. Now, having said that, I am going to set aside the Emma/Lucy duet for the sake of discussion, a) because while it's a pretty song, it doesn't really advance the plot much. and b) it offers less of a lesson in duality than the other two do. Also, at it's heart, I hate to say it, but I see "in His Eyes" (as well as "He Has His Work and Nothing More") as pale imitations of two songs from my all-time favorite musical, Chess. "In His Eyes" is "I Know Him So Well" and "His Work" is the "Quartet" from Chess. (Ah, what I wouldn't give to stage Chess!!!)

As I see it, "Take Me As I Am" and "A Dangerous Game" are polar opposites--stark contrasts that exhibit the duality than runs throughout the fabric of the show. As such, "Take Me As I Am" should show the love and trust that Emma and Henry feel for each other...and "A Dangerous Game" shows the flip side of the coin--lust mingled with fear.

Fear is clearly an important aspect of this, and should clearly be evident, but I do think it's important to show the animal attaction that Lucy and Hyde have for each other. Why else would they continue to come together as they do?

But there's more to it than just animal desire, btw. Hyde is a manifestation of Jekyll's unconscious attraction toward Lucy, which he dares not act upon/even think about. First, he's engaged (and truly loves Emma), and of course "He has his work and nothing more." He gave Lucy his business card because he felt a need to offer her some sort of protection, after seeing her knocked around by Spyder...and yet...perhaps there's more to it than mere protectionism, even if he will not admit it.

From Lucy's perspective, she is drawn to Hyde, but is it animal attraction completely, lust mingled with fear, or is it possible that she is also responding, at least unconsciously, to the man Hyde really is inside? Recall that before this scene begins, she thinks that she hears the voice of...someone else. Jekyll, of course. Does the sound of that voice echo in her mind, in her body, as she feels Hyde's caresses?

So yes, to answer your question in the most verbose fashion possible, I do think there's more going on in this scene than just fear...and I think that we should work to get these elements across in our staging. Agreed?

Hope I wasn't too long winded! Tony can go on for hours during rehearsals, but words are my refuge, as you can see! :)

Talk to you tomorrow!

Subj: RE: Jekyll and Hyde: Rehearsal schedule and contact sheet
Date: 3/9/2004 10:16:31 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Aimee

Great news about you're daughter. I'm sure you must be very relived.

Response...
Great parallel between In His Eyes and I Know Him so Well. Chess is something I'd love to do myself. I agree with you about you're analysis of the scenes. Very in depth. I actually was given a video of the non-equity tour of J & H a long time ago that I had forgotten I owned. I popped it in last night to take a look at how they choreographed Facade and Bring on the Men. I don't know about the rest of the videos clarity but those 2 numbers weren't too great but if you would like a copy of the video I can try and make one for you.

I'll keep you updated about Brian and Rachel.

Aimee

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