"Jekyll and Hyde" - now playing at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach before previewing on Broadway next week - is a musical divided into two.
The first act does what it's supposed to do, setting up the 1886 Robert Louis Stevenson story of scientist Dr. Jekyll coming up with a potion that cleaves his kindly persona from that of the dreaded Mr. Hyde, a murderous (and kinda kinky) psychopath.
The songs tend toward big, belting numbers, but if you have Constantine "American Idol" Maroulis and Deborah "Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here" Cox in the lead roles, why holster your big guns? Cox's voice is like a rich merlot, always revealing new flavors as Lucy. Maroulis makes good use of his sweet tenor as Dr. Jekyll and his rocking wail as Mr. Hyde.
The set helps to move the story along at a brisk pace, with its flipping panels, digital projections and glowing columns. That is, until the second act, when it all gets a bit silly. The murders are "pfffft." The humor brittle and predictable. The set ablaze like an Ozzy Osbourne concert.
The transformation? Well, that is a matter of hair. Let's just say that when Maroulis whips off his scrunchy, look out.
"Jekyll and Hyde" runs through Sunday at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets start at $25. Call 561-832-7469 or go to Kravis.org.