IF YOU GO
What: "Jekyll & Hyde"
When: June 7-23. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays
Where: Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, 5600 Brainerd Road (inside Eastgate Town Center)
Admission: $20 adults, $15 students with ID; discounts for groups of 10 or more
Note: Box office opens one hour before showtime; doors open 30 minutes before showtime
Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, now in its fourth season, will stage its largest production to date with the musical version of "Jekyll & Hyde," opening Friday, June 7, at the theater's space inside Eastgate Town Center.
The 1997 musical by Frank Wildhorn, Leslie Bricusse and Steve Cuden is a loose adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's 19th-century novel "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." In the musical version, Dr. Henry Jekyll's struggle to separate man's good and evil sides is paralleled in his relationships with his upper-class fiancée, Emma Carew, and a poor bar singer named Lucy Harris.
John Thomas Cecil heads the cast of 18, playing the dual title roles
"We have two sides to each of us," Cecil says. "They are constantly at war, to do good or evil. Sometimes it's apparent and sometimes not, but it is always there. I love that I have the chance to play a role that completely blurs the line between the two sides when they are often considered so far apart. And the acting challenge of playing two very distinct characters, several times within the same scene, is incredible."
Marianna Allen and Jennifer Arbogast offer support as the love interests, Emma Carew and Lucy Harris, respectively.
Director Garry Lee Posey says the musical is perfectly summed up by the first-act song "Facade."
"Man is constantly struggling with how he sees himself and how the world around him views him, and there are many levels to both of those ideals," he says. "The plot of the show is simple: Man seeks to do good, but the search is fraught with difficulty from both the outer world and himself. That is universal."