For the record, Jekyll and Hyde, the new Music Theatre Fargo-Moorhead (MTFM) stage musical opening this Thursday, isn’t all sunshine and kittens.
Of course, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Robert Louis Stevenson novella upon which the musical is based, isn’t exactly the most uplifting tale of all time. But, it’s had an incredible impact on the modern history of narrative. It has spawned dozens of adaptations for film and stage, and its major themes resonate to this day.
Angie Schulz, who plays the role of Emma Carew in Jekyll and Hyde, sees the musical version as emotionally gripping, adding love interests and further intrigue to the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story that combine melodrama with the psychological intrigue of split personalities and the often-fruitless quests to rid the world of evil.
Jekyll and Hyde is also dark … really dark. Just check out the video above. It’s a quality that Schulz hopes will give audiences a thrill.
“Here in the Midwest, we’re fairly flat with our emotions,” Schulz said, “but this production has lots of heightened emotions, lots of highs and lots of lows.”
“It’s very intense, and the score matches that. There are lots of builds and it’s very lush, a lot like Phantom of the Opera. We’re also using a lot of styles from graphic novels, and it’s a pretty scary production,” she said.
The production marks MTFM’s eighth season and shows how far the company has come along. What began as a small group of friends looking to make musical theatre has now led to the Jekyll and Hyde production of 18 cast members, their most ambitious outing yet. Schulz cites the Victorian costuming as evidence that the company is beginning to build confidence … and an audience base.
“This community is loaded with things to do,” she adds. “That’s been part of our challenge, but it’s also been very positive because there’s such a high level of participation in theatre. Audience building has always been a secondary push for us, but the word is spreading and we really have the ball rolling.”
So, there you go. Turns out there are some rays of sunshine to the Jekyll and Hyde story after all.