Mrs. Hyde & The Case of the Gaslight Buggerings

A comedy in Two Acts: London, 1886

By Duane Scott Cerny

Directed by Mark Contormo

Produced by Even & Odd Theatricals

At the Athenaeum Theatre

Perverse, unfunny and amateurish spoof of Jekyll & Hyde a yawner

I’m not sure how anyone involved with Mrs. Hyde thought the show was stage worthy? The material was trying much too hard to be sexy, perverse and humorous. It only succeeded in being a contrived bore. Few in the audience laughed, most were uncomfortable. The script was so full of forced double meaning—always sexual and the dialogue contained extremely strained potty talk that initially wasn’t funny and quickly became tedious. cast7a

The style of the show was Victorian melodrama that could have produced satirical humor but the writing and the over-the-top acting lost most of the few funny moments. Mrs. Hyde was trying to be a comic chaos with gender bending drag characters. Struggling with the “duality of the sexes,” the show happens during a lost weekend after Dr. Jekyll drinks a potion. Full of sexual panic among Londoners in 1886, Mrs. Hyde was simply too forced and too dry to be funny. It takes skilled players to land satirical comedy and it also takes a smart script—neither of these elements was present in this weak production. You know a show is in trouble when the set is the best thing in the production. With the exception of Nathan Hicks, as Poole, I found the cast filled with actors not schooled with enough comedic chops necessary. I’d skip this show.

Not Recommended

Tom Williams

Tom99@chicagocritic.com for comments

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2009

At the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Chicago, IL, Call 773-936-6960, www.evenandoddtheatricals.com, Tickets $20 – $15 students/seniors, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 4 pm, running time is 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission, through April 26, 2009


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