“Jekyll and Hyde” School Play Review

“Jekyll and Hyde”- An Edwardian Players Production Review by Logan Sindone

I have to admit when I sat down to watch Jekyll and Hyde, I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I had past Edwardian performances, especially after loving their production of She Loves Me. Ironically, I thought the tonal shift from the fun and happy She Loves Me to the dark and suspenseful Jekyll and Hyde reflected the powerful dynamic of Jekyll and Hyde’s juxtaposed relationship, as total opposites. However, I can say that this production will be remembered as one of the most spectacular and technologically impressive plays in a long line of superb Edwardian productions. Everything from the wonderfully talented cast down to the stage crew moving each prop in place was masterfully done.

First, credit is due to the main star, or stars, of the show, Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde, played by the talented Richi Pokrywka, who excellently portrayed the famous dual performance of the sweet and caring Dr. Jekyll with the cruel and sinister Mr. Hyde. His best song was “Confrontation,” during which all the actors’ talents and behind the scenes technical magic came together for a chilling scene. Other standout performances include Zeke Schmiedl, who portrayed Jekyll’s loyal friend, Gabriel John Utterson, and Grace Davis as Emma Carew, Jekyll’s fiance, able to convey great chemistry and to perform outstanding duets with Richie’s Jekyll. Corrine Howery also played Lucy Harris, a lady of the night dreaming for more than the encounters at her dingy and abusive place of work. Howery deserves as much praise as possible for her outstanding performance, notably marked by her solo, “Someone Like You”. Overall this show was filled with talented and dedicated student actors and actresses.

Second only to the actors are the people who helped build the world for the performers to interact in. These people are, of course, the talented hearts and minds behind the scenes of every scene. This performance was one of the most technological advanced put on by the school in recent history. From lights, audio, and flashy effects led by Technical Director Mr. John Goers to the magnificent orchestra, directed by Angelo Kortyka and the overall fantastic command of Mr. Robert Burns, these marvelous efforts are presented in every entrancing moment of the production. Of course, this was also thanks to the dedicated students all schools involved and the stage crew, led by Chris Burrell, who I was able to speak with after the play had wrapped up last weekend.

Q: How did you feel tonight’s performance went?

Chris: “I thought it went very good. The cast and crew did a great job and have been practicing very hard to present a great play for the school.”

Q: What would you say is your favorite part about the entire play?

Chris: “Definitely the Confrontation scene and song, it’s one of the most difficult scenes because of the synchronization needed between the actor, effects, and music. It takes so much effort and I’m glad to see how well its turned out.”

Q: What would you say has been the most difficult part about this production?

Chris: “The technical difficulties that come up when practicing or even during a performance. This is one of the most technical plays we’ve had.”

Q: Do you have any words of encouragement for the cast and crew or even the school?

Chris: “Just that doing the play is so much fun and gives so much experience to students at St. Eds and other schools. It’s always a fun experience and you’ll make memories that will last forever working on one of these productions.”

On one last special note, much like the Edwardian Players, I’d like to pay special recognition to Mr. Jim Wallenhorst, teacher and Props Master at St. Edward High School. Mr. Wallenhorst has dedicated years of service to the Edwardian Players by helping make fantastic props as an integral part of the immersive experience for the cast, crew, and audience, contributing even more time and loving effort for the community. For the patrons, many dedications were made to Mr. Wallenhorst, who is a crucial staple to the St. Edward’s community. All in all, this was a wonderful play to behold and I’m confident in saying it will be one of the top plays remembered by both the Edwardian Players and the rest of the St. Edwards community.