Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

By Andrew Andrews

Jekyll (Burt Grinstead) and Sarah (Anna Stromberg) share a secret in Blanket Fort Entertainment’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde at SoHo Playhouse. Original photo by Cooper Bates Photography.

It’s great fun to walk into a situation with low expectations and walk out pleasantly surprised.

Honestly, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has never been a personal favorite. I mean, let’s face it: it’s just too hard to believe that nobody would recognize Hyde as Jekyll in a different hat, right?

So why not make fun of such a preposterous story? Or at least, make fun with it?

Blanket Fort Entertainment’s Jekyll & Hyde takes advantage of Stevenson’s long-expired copyright to rewrite the story as it deserves to be told: playfully!

With Burt Grinstead as Jekyll & Hyde, and Anna Stromberg as everyone else, this comical revision features wordplay, slapstick and slo-mo/fast-mo to breath new life into the story, while retaining the horrific elements that captivated audiences of eariler days.

Particularly noteworthy is the introduction of a love interest/disinterest for Jekyll in the form of Dr. Lanyon’s daughter, Sarah, and backstory about Jekyll’s brother, a serial killer publicly executed two years earlier by an incompetent ax man.

On (and spilling off of) a set designed like a curiosity cabinet built of all-black Tetris blocks, with lighting by Matt Richter & Adam Martin that sets the mood through primary colors and a shadow-puppety backdrop, Stromberg and Grinstead engage and entertain the audience through rapid costume changes, melodramatic dialogue and in-your-face gestures, perfectly synchronized to Grinstead’s sound effects.

Check it out, then come back and tell us what you thought of this theatrical couple’s fast-paced, edgy interpretation of a tale so classic, it’s become part of our venacular.

Whether you enjoy the “monkeying around” (as Lanyon says) or agree with Jekyll that “the theatre is no place to be entertained” (!?), your reviews can help others decide whether Blanket Fort’s is the interpretation of Jekyll & Hyde they’ve been waiting for, and your ratings help us help you find future performances you’re sure to love!


Andrew Andrews attended Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde at SoHo Playhouse Main Stage in Manhattan on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 @ 7:00pm to write this review.