Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, $10-$20. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 960-3036; www.bigideatheatre.org. Through October 31.
Rated 5.0

In Victorian times, common belief was an individual was inherently and wholly good or evil, with only slight variations. And then came Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which literally took a stab at presenting the duality of a person, a good doctor with an evil internal twin, the creation of the split-personality concept.

And what a split personality! Charming, intelligent and socially adept doctor by day, and an evil psychopathic murderer by night, the combined hero and villain of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a true horror story.

Here Big Idea Theatre has embraced a recent adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by playwright Jeffrey Hatcher which adds a couple layers to this dark tale of gruesome murders and social mayhem, including a love interest and variations of Mr. Hyde brought out by rotating actors.

Under the imaginative direction of Benjamin Ismail, this dark production is presented by highly stylized and creative staging, strong and direct performances by a talented cast, and a stark minimalistic set that incorporates foggy streets, the laboratory of the good Dr. Jekyll and a Victorian parlor that hides the elusive and evil Mr. Hyde.

Zachary Scovel is a hauntingly charming Dr. Jekyll. Gina Harrower presents a realistic forgiving-but-confused lover of Mr. Hyde. Russell Dow creeps as one of the more violent portrayals of Mr. Hyde. It’s a show that will shadow you as you leave the darkened theater into the even darker night.