Jekyll & Hyde

Rated 4.0

The Runaway Stage’s current production of Jekyll & Hyde is proof positive that great voices can cover a multitude of sins—or in this case, just a somewhat iffy sound system. Tevye Ditter is incredible as the tortured lead character(s). His Henry Jekyll is earnest and ethical, if a bit obsessive, while Edward Hyde is darkly malevolent—a change accomplished entirely with the use of Ditter’s voice and acting skills. In fact, he’s so good that the hisses and pops from the sound system melt away behind the intensity of his singing.

Amber Jean Moore adds a strain of vulnerability to the streetwise and brassy Lucy, and the production number she leads, “Bring On the Men,” comes close to show-stopper status. In addition, her duet with Norma-Jean Russell (as Emma, Jekyll’s fiancée) fully showcases the differences between the characters—both fragile, but an undercurrent of despair in Moore’s tone serves to highlight the resolve in Russell’s.

The standout among the supporting roles is young Joshua James, who brings an exceptionally slimy note to his portrayal of the pimp, Spider, that makes one wish he’d meet Hyde in a dark alley.

Jekyll & Hyde is how community theater ought to work: with a well-conducted in-house orchestra and players who are enthusiastic, with vocal performances worthy of a better sound system.