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Robin Downward plays the central roles of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde in Randall Theatre’s “Jekyll & Hyde,” the musical.

Musical ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ opens at Randall Theatre

Good and evil battle each other in the soul of every person — and so it goes in “Jekyll & Hyde,” a musical horror-drama loosely based on the novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Randall Theatre will present this tale of two men — a doctor and a madman — that features a score of hits by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through May 6 at the community theater, 10 E. Third St., Medford.

Tickets are $22, $17 on Thursdays, and can be purchased at randalltheatre.com or by calling 541-632-3258. Pay-what-you-want rush tickets will be available at the door.

The musical “Jekyll & Hyde” made its Broadway debut in 1997, winning four Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critic Awards and a Theatre World Award.

In 19th-century London, Dr. Henry Jekyll works to ultimately eliminate all evil from mankind. He concocts a potion that be believes will excise evil from the human mind and soul. When he illicitly experiments with the serum on himself, he transforms from the kind and considerate doctor to an impulsive and aggressive new being who calls himself Edward Hyde. As Hyde runs rampant throughout the city, Jekyll fears for his loved ones and longs to banish the viciousness lurking inside him.

The play is directed by Livia Genise, and actor Robin Downward reprises his role as Jekyll/Hyde in this production. Downward played the central role in the musical five years ago at Randall Theatre.

In bringing his character to the stage, Downward delved into the motives a man would have to spend his life trying to solve such an elusive mystery: Is it possible to remove all evil from man?

“Stevenson’s book doesn’t provide Jekyll’s past or an explanation for his reasoning,” Downward says in a press release. “So I created a life story for Jekyll starting from his youth. I created Jekyll’s father’s persona as that of a drug addict and alcoholic.”

Young Henry despises and emulates his father’s paranoid behavior, but as he grows older he finds himself damaged from his upbringing and following in his father’s footsteps. He chooses to turn his life around. He must find some way to not only save himself but others from aggression, hate and anger.

“The audience will see that Henry always fights his darker side,” Downward says. “He is clean and sober, polite and good, but always close to the edge.”

Genise encouraged the show’s cast to explore their own characters’ facade, as the musical speaks of everyone having a public side and a hidden side.

Grace Peets plays Emma Carew, Jekyll’s fiancée, and Deborah Downward plays Lucy Harris, a lonely lady of the night. A large group of regional actors rounds out the cast.

Rebecca Campbell is assistant director and choreographer, Sarah Cohen is stage manager, Nico Hewitt is set designer, K.J. Long is lighting designer, John Wing is sound designer, Toni Holley designs the costumes, Elizabeth Suzane is vocal director and Aubrey Campbell is dance captain.

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