Jekyll and Hyde, The Hoff and The Broadway Stage – a mixture so crazy it just might work!
British audiences are pretty used to musicals based on all sorts of unlikely literature. There was a time in the 1980s, the regular joke was that Andrew Lloyd Webber was making a musical based on the phone book, such was the subject matter of his work so wide and eclectic.
So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was made into a Broadway musical.
Originally written in the 1980s, the musical by Frank Wildhorn, Leslie Bruciusse and Steve Cuden took seven years to come to Broadway where it became a hit and ran for over 1500 performances. The story is similar to the movie versions rather than the original novella (ie. Jekyll dies at the end as opposed to the more obscure book ending).
Despite running so long on the Broadway stage, the musical was never been particularly well-received by critics (though it was nominated for four Tonys and other prestigious awards) and for some reason lost money.
That being said, Jekyll and Hyde attracted a cult following and the tunes aren’t that bad. In fact, to be fair, you’re not going to run for 1500 plus shows if the show is crap. And the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is an over-the-top melodrama so it lends itself to a Broadway musical.
We’ve chosen a clip titled “Confrontation” which sees Jekyll battling for his soul on stage.
Now former Knight Rider/Baywatch star David Hasselhoff aka The Hoff wasn’t the first actor to play Jekyll/Hyde in the musical production but he’s clearly the most famous one. “This is the Moment” is the standout song from the production and one that has been used in all sorts of XFactor/American Idol kind of talent shows and twice at The Olympics as a showstopper. But Confrontation is a lot more fun as The Hoff swinging back and forth, his hair neat on one side as Jekyll and messed up as Hyde on the other.
Since the original production, the musical has been staged around the world and earlier this year it was reported the film rights to Jekyll and Hyde had been secured with a view to releasing the film in 2015. No casting announcements have been made so far. It’s unlikely The Hoff will get the call up but they could do far worse, as the above clip shows.