Monday, April 5, 2010

Theatre in Hoboken

Being this close to New York City, Hoboken has theatre at its doorstep. And this week there will be a production of the home-grown variety that promises to rival the big time, with professional-level acting and production values.

Hudson Theatre Ensemble, Hoboken’s own award-winning professional community theatre now in its 10th season, will present Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by nationally-renowned playwright Jeffrey Hatcher from the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. The play will be at the group's space in the Hudson School, at Park Avenue and 6th Street. I've been asked to write a review of the show, but since it opens Friday and runs only two weekends, I thought my readers would like a little advance notice. I've seen the last two plays produced by the Hudson Theatre Ensemble, and they were delightful. No doubt this thriller, a new take on the R.L. Stevenson original, will not disappoint.

According to the group's press release, Hatcher’s fiendishly clever and provocative psychological thriller is hipper, more erotic, and theatrically intense than "your grandfather’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." It may be a little racy--recommended for mature audiences. (I wonder if they'll let me in.)

The question of duality intrigues us today, where the idea that everything is either black or white and that you are either for us or against us is so strong. Hatcher’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will remind us that human beings have multifaceted personalities much too complicated to fit into neat little boxes. In fact in Hatcher’s version, actors play multiple roles and the menacing Mr. Hyde himself is played by five actors – including one female!

Jeffrey Hatcher writes for both stage and screen. His accomplishments include screenplays for The Duchess (2008 film with Kiera Knightly) and Casanova (2005 film with Heath Ledger), as well as the popular stage version (with Mitch Albom) of the bestseller, Tuesdays With Morrie and plays A Picasso (winner of the Barrymore Award for Best New Play), Three Viewings, Scotland Road, The Turn of the Screw, Neddy and Murder by Poe. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Award for "Best Play."

After I've seen it, I'll post my review here. I'm looking forward to this one.

Photo by John Crittenden

Tickets & Reservations:
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde opens Friday April 9 and runs Friday and Saturday with a matinee Sunday April 11. Second weekend Friday and Saturday nights only.
$15 General Admission; $12 Seniors/Students
Info/Reservations: 201-377-7014 or


jacques mullet said...

Multiple actors for one role sounds like very promising entertainment. The nature of the main character kinda lends itself to that. Five , now that's a lot of character facets. Raciness could probably go the distance with that character, as well. It sure sounds much less
stogy than the original. Yet, for it's time, the original was racy too.

As a 'pro' community theater, I wonder about the involvement of the school. There have been shows directed by pros on an invited, limited time, for the purpose of a production done by schools.

How much space will you have for the critique? I wouldn't worry about getting in to see the show. You may even have a comp ticket as the critic. ML is certainly racy enough considering that is the entry criteria.

Mary Lois said...

No connection to the school--they just use its theater (which is a little, awkward black box that you would love).

They'll let me in, all right. I don't shock easy.

jacques mullet said...

How did you get the distinction of critic there in the HO? Did the theater itself ask you, or were you contacted anonymously by a local theater rag, or some other way? Folk just don't all of a sudden exist as local theater critic.
We all loved John Patrick for his critiques here, but I could care less about Harrison while others fawn over him for his. Dobson of T-town included historical and biographical bits in his critiques.
I guess the future only knows whether they'll want ML to come again. Are you going to post critique here?

Mary Lois said...

Jacques: They asked me.

jacques mullet said...

Well,there ya go, class as usual.
Being asked is a good thing.
That's the ML that I know.