The musical adds various plot points to flesh out the story. Jekyll's motivation for his work is to find a way to cure his father's insanity. He has a fiancee who was originally called Lisa but later renamed Emma for no apparent reason - the name had the same number of syllables and didn't even rhyme better in the lyrics. Perhaps it was a more British 19th century sounding name. Both Jekyll and Hyde are drawn to a prostitute named Lucy, leading to tragic results. The Hyde persona eventually grows too strong for Jekyll to control and starts to appear at will. The epic battle between Jekyll and Hyde personifies the age-old theme of the conflict between good and evil.
I've loved the songs from this musical since the first time I heard the first "Complete Works" concept album album from 1994. There are soft haunting tunes, power ballads and fast paced songs with satirical, biting lyrics that comment on the two-faced duality of the upper class. My favourite such song is called "Facade", which contains lyrics like:
"There's a face that we wear
In the cold light of day -
It's society's mask,
It's society's way,
And the truth is
That it's all a facade!"
Intricate rhyming couplets that pair words like society, propriety, sobriety, piety and notoriety, while forming quick, cohesive stanzas, remind me of the songs of Stephen Sondheim. The song Facade is usually sung by the poor as an indictment on the rich. In this latest revival, there is a bit of a twist. The start of the song is sung by five grotesque figures in their underwear. You are led to believe that these are the poor homeless people that usually sing this song. However they are soon joined by maids and butlers who dress help dress them to reveal the distinguished Board of Directors of Dr. Jekyll's hospital. This clever choreography highlights the message of the song. The layers of clothing represent the veneer of respectability that the wealthy and powerful hide behind, but its all a facade. Stripped of this clothing, as we originally see them, we get a glimpse of the true seedy, sinister nature of this group.
Overall, I really enjoyed this production of Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical. I hope it does well on Broadway.