Seasoned Director Brings Bloody Murder and Magnificent Music to Grosse Pointe Theatre Stage
There are certain theater productions that stand out for their unique flavor and content. Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical is one of those shows. And when you have a keen director’s eye and wonderfully expressive imagination, as does Pleasant Ridge resident Bev Dickinson, you absolutely want to lead this production. She will do just that on Sunday, January 15, when Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical, opens at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial’s Fries Auditorium – the third show in the Grosse Pointe Theatre’s season.
“I directed this show at the Birmingham Village Players about 10 years ago,” Dickinson said. “This is different because of the stage and auditorium size, as well as the separation of the stage from the audience.”
Those effects Dickinson refers to will be accomplished primarily with lighting to create the seedy streets of London outside of the Red Rat pub and the sinister laboratory of Dr. Henry Jekyll as he creates what he believes will be a potion that will effectively separate the good and evil inherent in the human soul.
“We will use some fantastic lighting effects,” said Dickinson, who has directed more than 40 shows at theaters throughout Southeast Michigan. “There will also be added effects not typically seen in musical theater.”
Those effects will make the sinister Mr. Hyde – played by Alan Canning of Bloomfield Township – that much more sinister. As if he needs the help.
“One of the reasons I cast Alan is because he is truly fearless on the stage,” she said. “He knows how to play on stage, and by that I don’t mean in a funny way, but in a loosened sense, with complete abandon.”
That abandon turns any scene with Hyde into one that sends shivers down spines, arms and legs. Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical is certainly not a typical feel-good production with lots of happiness and bubbles floating around the stage. Instead, the suspense of Jekyll & Hyde builds from the opening moments of the play and never lets go.
“I have one thing to say to people who will come to see this – get ready for a ride with this one,” Dickinson said. “It’s pretty much nonstop music – amazing music – and it’s not the typical energy you see on the stage. It’s something more raw, more carnal, more sinister, more shocking.
“Keep that in mind,” she said, allowing a playful smile.
Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical performs at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial’s Fries Auditorium, 32 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms. It opens January 15 with a 2 pm performanc, and continues January 19-22 and 26-28. The Sunday January 22nd performance is at 2 p.m.; all others are at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $24, but student discounts are available. To order tickets, please call 313-881-4004 or use Seat Yourself at www.gpt.org.
Written by Cyndy Nehr