Jekyll and Hyde

By Ariniko O'Meara
Posted September 7, 2018   |   Previous Entry   |   Next Entry

Driving into Lansing from Haslett, the sun sinking low on the horizon, cascading streaks of pink and amber through the state Capitol created the perfect mood lighting for the production I was about to witness.

I parked in the Riverwalk Theatre's parking lot, unload my gear and made my way to the main stage, down blue glowing hallways, towards a melodic waiting area. I positioned myself to capture the scenes about to be presented before me--close enough for the best lighting, but distant enough to get it all in, perfectly centered and without visual obstacles.

The set is simple, three full sized, framed curtains on wheels. I would never have guessed how perfectly adequate those screens would be used to create new rooms, mood lighting and set changes.

Soon the lights dimmed and the scene is set, the characters defined, the purpose created. The story of Jekyll and Hyde is vintage, well known, yet it felt completely new. The actor portraying this dichotomous character, Kameron Going, vexed by the desires of each man, believably produces both protagonist and antagonist--his own worst enemy.

The scenes literally swirl from one scene to the next; from professional establishment, to social elite, to bourgeois ensembles. Each scene moving the story to its obvious end, building on each character, each emotion and each inevitable finale.

The lighting and music play just as much into the mood as the costumes and themes. The lights are often dim and contrasting, helping to accentuate the conflicts in the actors.

The supporting cast; from love interests to brothels dancers to loyal friends, has not one character out of place. In fact it's all so purposeful that an absence would be noticed.

The music, with its cadence of hope followed by destruction set forth a sequence of enchanted love ballads and morose chorus numbers. Kelley Lofton and Sally Hecksel each play parts that are intriguing in their similarities yet strikingly different in their dress, cadence and intentions. Their voices pair so well together that the viewer may be torn as to who to root for, if they must choose at all.

Riverwalk Theatre's tale of hope and chaos, good versus evil, is a well known tale, yet this production felt fresh and exciting. The cast and crew made it look way too easy to create such mesmerizing characters, sets, costumes and productions.

Tickets are on sale now.