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Larry Littany Litt
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
Written by Burt Grinstead & Anna Stromberg
Directed by Anna Stromberg
Produced by Blanket Fort Entertainment
SOHO Playhouse 15 Vandam St., NYC
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2018 by Larry Littany Litt
I’ve always wanted to use the term ‘Caledonian Antisyzygy’ in a theater review. It’s defined as the joining of two opposing forces in one personality. “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” adapted and written by Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg has given me that chance. If you are a fan of the book (you know which book I mean) then this is the comedy you’ve been waiting for. Two madcap theater artists have come up with an 80 minute retelling of the horrors unleashed by imprudent, self indulgent science that leads to murderous, anti-social schizophrenia. All done with wit and style that had me laughing from the opening minutes to the very end.
Grinstead and Stromberg under Stromberg’s direction perform slapstick and physical comedy in a subtly anarchic yet very proper English way with outrageous contradictions that reminded me of Monty Python. Having spent some time in Scotland I especially enjoyed the exaggerated garbled sounds of Ms. Stromberg’s Scottish accent. Very hard to do, no less to let the audience understand even one word. Yet she succeeds with a flash of a grin.
High comedy is Stromberg’s acting forte, she portrays all the other characters, male and female, while reacting to Grinstead’s Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde depending on who he is in the scene.
If you love to laugh at well parodied literary classics, as I do, then this is a play for you. You won’t learn much about “Caledonian Antisyzygy’ but you will have a great fun filled night out.
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