March 15th, 2007


No Place to Seek

public because I'm not going to talk about rehearsals

So, I've just finished reading the original short story Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, which I may have read in 3rd grade, sometime in the middle of the last century. I had forgotten most of it. Enough rambling, here are some comparisons between the musical and the story:

M: Jekyll and Hyde are both mid-20's
S: Jekyll is middle-aged, Hyde is adolescent

M: Jekyll is engaged
S: Jekyll is a confirmed bachelor

M: Hyde and Jekyll are identical shape and size
S: Hyde is much smaller and scrawnier than Jekyll

M: Hyde has a girlfriend whom he beats
S: Hyde goes out and enjoys himself regularly to excess (no specific acts are mentioned, however)

M: Jekyll asks a mental hospital for a man to experiment on, and is turned down.
S: Jekyll is an independent medical researcher, he only wishes to experiment on himself

M: Hyde kills 5 members of the hospital board
S: Hyde only kills one person, a member of parliament he does not know

M: The name of the only board member Hyde does not kill is Sir Danvers Carew
S: The name of the only person Hyde kills is Sir Danvers Carew

M: Jekyll's lawyer is named Utterson. They are friends from childhood
S: Jekyll's lawyer is named Utterson. They are friends from childhood

M: Utterson is Jekyll's friend and confidant. They are almost inseparable
S: Utterson is one of Jekyll's many friends, but they are not regular companions.

M: Utterson's best friend is Dr. Jekyll
S: Utterson's best friend is his cousin (he has no cousin in the musical)

M: We see the transformation into Hyde early and often
S: We never see the transformation. We only read about it in a letter from another of Jekyll's childhood friends, a Dr. Lanyon. Lanyon is not in the musical at all.

M: Jekyll dies by throwing himself on Utterson's sword, in front of the altar, just prior to his wedding vows
     (in the original script, he does this during the first dance with his new wife after the vows are spoken)
S: Hyde dies by poisoning himself as Utterson and Jekyll's butler Poole break down the door to Jekyll's "cabinet"

M: Poole is Jeckyll's butler, there is no explicit mention of any staff. In our production we have two choristers who sometimes act as servants.
S: Poole is the onlPoole is the head of a large staff of Jekyll's servants

M: Hyde lives in Jekyll's digs
S: Hyde has his own flat in Soho, plus a key to the back door of Jekyll's lab.

M: Jekyll is inspired to do his research because his father went insane
S: Jekyll is inspired to do his research because he is interested in "Transcendental Medicine". Transcendental Medication? :-)

M: We see the progression of Jekyll-Hyde's madness as the show progresses, there are no secrets for the audience
S: We do not learn anything until the final pages. Lanyon has left Utterson a sealed letter, to be opened upon his death. Inside is another letter, only to be opened upon the death or disappearance of Jekyll. When they find Hyde dead, they also find a packet from Jekyll, addressed to Utterson. Utterson goes home to open all these letters and finds:
- Lanyon tells of seeing Hyde change into Jekyll before his very eyes
- Jekyll tells all about finding the transformation formula by accident, and becoming more and more Hyde, and finally unable to change back. Hyde locks himself away in his room because he fears being hung for killing Sir Danvers.
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The Ides Have It!

Wishing you all extra wariness on this Ides of March. What a way to follow Pi Day!

BTW, 2015 will bring Pi Day to two more digits - 3.1415. I can hardly wait. Not!