Thoughts on the new Jekyll & Hyde 2012 Concept Album.
The new Jekyll & Hyde 2012 Concept Recording was recently released to give audiences a preview of the upcoming U.S. national tour and broadway revival. There are a TON of recordings of this show out there, and I’ve listened to many of them. Here’s what I thought of this new release:
1. For those expecting a completely re-imagined version of the show, don’t get your hopes up. The new, rock arrangements are definitely hit-or-miss and often feel very ‘put on.’ There are no new songs on the album per se, but some fan favorites from the original concept recording(s) have been added back in (specifically “I Need To Know”, “Bring On The Men”, “Girls of the Night”).
2. So how are the leads? Constantine Maroulis is, again, very hit-or-miss (mostly miss on this album). There is almost NO differentiation in his voice between the two characters he’s supposed to be playing (Jekyll & Hyde). Also, most of his songs are overly-‘fussy’, and his pop/rock music background adds almost nothing to this musical. Deborah Cox fares a bit better as Lucy- perhaps because most of the character’s songs are pop ballads which Deborah pulls off quite well. Teal Wicks sounds A LOT like Christiane Noll (with a little more ‘bite’ to her voice at times), but she also doesn’t have much to sing on this album (Emma’s song “I Need To Know” will not be included in this production despite appearing on the 2006 Resurrection Album).
Overall Thoughts: This new recording really isn’t worth the $12+ that’s being charged for it. The changes to the show’s music aren’t substantial enough to draw in new audience members, yet they’re just enough to piss off Jekyll & Hyde traditionalists who prefer the more gothic-sound over the modern rock arrangements (I generally put myself in that category). I’ll try to catch the upcoming national tour and post my thoughts on the production here, but this ‘concept recording’ did very little for me.
The Carrie: The Musical ‘Premiere Recording’ seems to be confusing some people, so here’s a quick history of the show:
Generally speaking, this is NOT a new show. After an initial try-out run in Stratford, England, the original broadway production of Carrie: The Musical opened in 1988. It featured Linzi Hately in the title role and Betty Buckley as Carrie’s mother, Margaret. The show was torn apart by critics, and it closed after only 16 previews and 5 performances- making it one of the most expensive broadway flops of all time. Despite this, Carrie: The Musical gained a large cult following over the years. Bootlegs of performances, scores, and other memorabilia from the show survived, and some individuals even staged un-authorized productions.
In 2009, a reading of a completely reworked version of the show was held in New York City featuring various new songs, lyric/book changes, etc. The reading also had an all-star cast including Marin Mazzie, Sutton Foster, Jennifer Damiano, Matt Doyle, Diana DeGarmo, John Arthur Greene, and Molly Ranson as Carrie.
In 2010, it was confirmed that a revival of Carrie: The Musical (including further changes) would be produced off-broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. The show officially opened on March 1st, 2012 and closed a month later after a limited engagement that included 34 previews and 46 performances. Soon after, Ghostlight Records announced that they would be releasing a cast recording of the show on September 25th, 2012. It was also announced that the rights to perform the show would be made available starting in spring 2013 (as well as a Vocal Selections book). If you’re interested in reading more about the show, check out the Wiki page.