Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis


The sound of unearthly voices is heard before it seems to vanish upward into the fog in an atmosphere of ominous anticipation. The voice of Dr. Jekyll is heard over the din. He speaks of the duality of man and the struggle within him... between his inherently good side and his evil nature.

John Utterson, a middle-aged lawyer, enters and addresses the audience. Dr. Jekyll, his friend and client, was engaged in a search to discover the elements of good and evil that are present in every personality.

Act One

Dr. Jekyll and Danvers are in a nightmarish hospital ward in London, sometime around 1885. Partially dressed bodies are strapped to wooden tables on one side of separating glass as Doctors, Nurses, Attendants and Visitors move about on the other side of the glass. Dr. Henry Jekyll, Utterson and Sir Danvers are looking down at an Old Man who is strapped to a bed. Jekyll explains that he has almost perfected a formula that will help him to reintegrate the Old Man's mind and emotions. Jekyll promises the Old Man, who is his own father, that he will find a way to help him ("Lost in the Darkness"). He kisses his father's brow and exits into the London night. As he goes, he sings of the anguish that he feels for his father's plight and his struggle to find the solution ("I Need to Know").

A crowd, including Beggars, Hawkers, Stevedores, Sailors, Ladies, Gentlemen and Tradespeople, gathers in front of a brick wall. They sing of the "Façade" that everyone shows to the world while hiding their private, other selves.

As the crowd disperses, the wall disappears to reveal the operating theatre of a clinic. Utterson watches from the periphery of the operating theatre as Simon Stride calls to order the meeting of the Board of Governors of St. Jude's Hospital. As Jekyll waits, Stride introduces the other attending members: Sir Danvers, the presiding officer, The Bishop of Basingstoke, The Right Honourable Arthur Proops, Lord Savage, Lady Beaconsfield and General Lord Glossop. Jekyll presents his proposal to test a groundbreaking formula that he has created, which will separate the dual natures of man. Jekyll explains his theory that, in each person, there are two personalities, one good and one evil, which are constantly at war; he suggests that it is possible to separate these two warring personalities and to isolate the functional, good component from the dysfunctional, evil component. He tells the board that he has discovered a combination of drugs that can isolate these two personalities and asks permission to test his drug on hospital patients. When the board members express their misgivings and vote to withhold their consent for his experiments, Jekyll angrily insists that the board grants him permission. ("Jekyll's Plea").

After the board members leave, Jekyll tells Utterson that the board members are fools and hypocrites, wondering how he can pursue his experiments; Utterson tells him that he should continue with his work if he believes in it ("Pursue the Truth").

At the lavish engagement party for Dr. Jekyll and Sir Danvers' Daughter, Emma, ladies and gentlemen discuss the absurdity of Dr. Jekyll's theories and wonder why the intense scientist is late for a celebration, for which he is the guest of honor. Lady Beaconsfield also admonishes Sir Danvers that he shouldn't let Emma marry Jekyll. Simon Stride asks Emma to reconsider her marriage to Jekyll; she tells him that she isn't the weak woman that he is hoping to marry ("Emma's Reasons"). Jekyll enters as two male guests lament that the much sought-after Emma is about to be married. Jekyll apologizes to Sir Danvers for his lateness and, with Utterson, discusses the earlier meeting. When Emma and Jekyll have a private moment, he tells her that he is concerned that his life of research and experiment would make her unhappy; Emma reassures him that she loves and accepts him as he is and begs that he "Take Me as I Am" in turn. Emma's father and Utterson enter. Jekyll exits with Utterson, and Sir Danvers mentions that he is also concerned with Jekyll's behavior. When Emma protests, he admits that he is having trouble "Letting Go."

In a very rough neighborhood in East London, Nellie, a red-haired prostitute, strolls in front of her establishment, The Red Rat. An aprehensive Utterson and Jekyll are strolling the streets of this seemier side of London. Jekyll wants to go inside and he chides Utterson for not giving him a proper bachelor party. As they enter The Red Rat, the men inside are screaming and clamoring for the evening's entertainment. Finally, Lucy, a prostitute and actress, enters from atop a staircase in a provacative red dress, which causes the uproarious men to fall silent immediately. She entertains the men with a provacative and festive number, "Bring on the Men." After the song, Lucy begins to circulate among the clientele. She goes to Jekyll as Nellie, the prostitute from before, spirits Utterson away. Jekyll and Lucy are drawn to each other in a way that promises each of them a great friendship. Utterson reemerges, and Jekyll admits that he must be on his way. Before he goes, he gives Lucy his visiting card and asks her to see him should she ever need anything. Spider, the thug who owns the club, approaches Lucy and strikes her hard across the face for not enticing the gentlemen enough to make the sale.

Jekyll and Utterson have arrived in front of Jekyll's house. Jekyll, noticeably in much better spirits, cryptically tells Utterson that he has finally discovered his volunteer for testing the potient. A weary Utterson bids Jekyll goodnight. Jekyll, alone at the end of the evening, stands before the blazing fire, stares into a large mirror above the mantelpiece and realizes that "This Is the Moment" for which he has been waiting. He will be his own patient. As he sings, the walls of his office vanish to reveal the laboratory. The laboratory is crowded with tables filled with vials and potions and all kinds of scientific equipment. He writes an entry in his journal that explains his actions and drinks down the potion. He waits for a change within him, but nothing happens until he is seized with an excruciating pain. He attempts to continue writing down all of his responses, but his body is gripped again in agony. As he staggers about the room, his body is transforming: he is crouched now and his voice has an animal-like rasp. As he struggles with the changes occurring within him, he continues futilely to try to record what is occurring. It is too late: Jekyll has been transformed into Edward Hyde, who laughs maniacally at being set free.

Hyde, now on the streets of London, giddily enjoys the feel of being "Alive" and possessing unconquerable power and evil. He sees Lucy and begins to follow her through the dark alleys as she makes her rounds, looking for clients. He catches up to her and caresses her at first gently so that she thinks he is a potential client. His touch becomes more and more violent until she finally manages to escape and run away.

Several weeks later, Emma and Utterson are escorted out of Jekyll's house by his manservant, Poole. Emma is worried, even though Poole tells her that Jekyll constantly asks about her. She knows that he is consumed by his work, but fears that he is running himself down. Utterson promises to speak to Poole. After Emma departs, Poole admits that Jekyll is behaving erratically; he hasn't seen Jekyll for a week and merely lays his meals at the laboratory door. He also tells Utterson that he has heard another man's voice and someone's heart-wrenching cries coming from the lab. Just then, Jekyll appears, disheveled and weary, but impassioned, and he instructs Poole to go to the apothecary to get some chemicals that he needs. Utterson cannot believe the changes in his friend. He implores Henry to step back from his quest, else he will be "His Work and Nothing More." Meanwhile, Emma and her father, Danvers, argue about the prudence of Emma's marriage to a man who seems to be falling into an ever-deepening abyss. Emma again tells her father that she understands that Jekyll's work is important. Utterson exits as Poole enters Jekyll's office, announcing that a young woman has arrived with Jekyll's card. Jekyll realizes that it is Lucy and tells Poole to send her in. She reminds him of his offer to help her. She shows him bruises on her back and shoulders; as Jekyll dresses her wounds, she mentions that Edward Hyde has caused them. Lucy tells Jekyll that he is the first gentleman to treat her nicely and how grateful she is for his "Sympathy, Tenderness."

When Jekyll has finished dressing Lucy's wounds, she thanks him with a kiss. Lucy leaves Jekyll's house and dreams of how easy it would be to love "Someone Like You," if Jekyll could only love someone like her.

Nellie leads the Bishop of Basingstoke out of her shabby house near The Red Rat. The Bishop pays Nellie for her ample services. After Nellie retires into the house, the Bishop is met by Hyde, who appears before him, holding a walking stick with a heavy pewter knob. Hyde taunts the Bishop, finally calling him a hypocrite and smashing the Bishop's head with the knob of the walking stick. Hyde gleefully continues beating the Bishop. Hyde revels in the killing and again relishes the freedom and power of being "Alive – Reprise."

Act Two

The townspeople of London gossip about the hideous murder of the poor old bishop. ("Murder, Murder"). As Glossop and Savage emerge from the Bishop's funeral, Hyde approaches them. He breaks General Glossop's neck while Savage manages to escape. The next day, while London now has another brutal murder to discuss, Jekyll meets Bisset for more chemicals. He is surly, tired and very secretive with the kind chemist. Later, Lady Beaconsfield, Proops and Savage are outside the very posh "Mayfair Club." Hyde taunts them from the shadows. Lord Savage, not knowing who he is, threatens the intruder. Hyde emerges from the darkness and stabs Proops. Mortally wounded, he falls to the ground in front of a horrified Lady Beaconsfield and Savage. Hyde then grabs Lady Beaconsfield and berates her vanity. He tears off the exquisite jewels from around her neck, hands them to a beggar and then strangles her. Lord Savage, once again taking advantage of a close friend's demise, manages to escape. Next, Sir Danvers meets an agitated Lord Savage at the train station. Savage has realized that he is next on the evil Hyde's list of enemies. He has decided to leave post haste for Scotland. As soon as Danvers bids Savage adieu, Hyde appears from behind a billow of steam and snaps the ill-fated Savage's neck. The gruesome murders are the talk of London papers and society.

Emma enters the dark room that is Jekyll's Laboratory. She is reading Jekyll's journal when the sound of a key in the lock startles her. Jekyll enters and is immediately wary of her presence. She implores him to remember "Once upon a Dream," when they were "lost in love's embrace" – when they embarked on this scientific journey together. Jekyll admits that he loves her and begs her not to abandon him. Emma promises, "When you need me, if you need me, you know where I'll be." She goes, and Jekyll makes an entry in his journal. He is losing control whenever he transforms and fears that he is risking death. Utterson knocks on the door. Jekyll hides the formula and closes his journal. He unlocks the door as Utterson enters, questioning the letter that Jekyll wrote to him that leaves Edward Hyde as his sole heir. Although still concerned, Utterson promises to follow his wishes and to deliver some chemicals from Bisset. Alone once again, Jekyll wonders "What Streak of Madness" is trying to overtake him. As Jekyll looks in the mirror, his image changes into the images of Lucy and Emma. Jekyll swoons. Both images of the women reminisce about their feelings for Jekyll and the wealth of love and compassion that they find "In His Eyes."

Lucy is alone at "The Red Hat." Jekyll appears, huddled in the shadows; she is delighted to see him. Out of the shadows steps Hyde. He tells her that he will be going away for awhile and threatens her should she not be waiting when she gets back. Despite herself, Lucy is drawn to his voice. As he caresses her, she notes the coldness of his touch and wonders at the "Dangerous Game" that she is playing with the madman.

At the laboratory late at night, Hyde is slumped in an armchair. Utterson tentatively knocks and then enters the unlocked door, looking for Henry. Hyde admits that Jekyll will never return. Utterson, determined to deliver the rare chemicals to his friend personally, turns up the lights and is dismayed to see Jekyll's journal at Hyde's, the lab in complete disarray. He demands to see his friend. Hyde chuckles and then agrees. He drinks the potion and transforms into an exhausted Jekyll, right in front of Utterson's very eyes. Jekyll begs his friend to help him, as there is not much time. He asks Utterson to take money to Lucy and beg her to leave town. Utterson leaves, and Jekyll vows to find a potion to rid him of Hyde. As he begins to mix the formula, he suffers the "Angst – 2" of not knowing if he will lose his mind forever.

Utterson and Lucy are in her room at "The Red Hat." Utterson delivers Jekyll's letter and the money that he has left for her. Utterson exits, and Lucy dreams of "A New Life." She lies on the bed and closes her eyes, dreaming of her new life, when Hyde emerges from the shadows and lights a dim lamp. He reads the letter that Jekyll left her. Lucy – both drawn to, and terrified of, him – promises that she wouldn't leave him. He stabs her repeatedly while singing about the sweetness to be found in her face ("Sympathy, Tenderness – Reprise"). A shudder passes through him... and it is Henry Jekyll left to stand before Lucy's lifeless and bloodstained body.

A storm brews outside of Jekyll's devastated laboratory. Jekyll enters and looks in the mirror. He battles his evil alter ego in "The Confrontation," where Hyde vows to live inside him forever. Jekyll hurls a beaker and shatters the mirror. There is sudden darkness. A bitter chemical permeates the air.

The company sings "Façade – Reprise" as Utterson narrates. Jekyll knew that the way back to sanity would be treacherous. "Yet back from the dead he came, to the sound of wedding bells." Guests appear at the church for the wedding of Henry Jekyll and Emma Carew. Sir Danvers leads his daughter up the aisle, where Jekyll awaits. The Minister begins the ceremony. Suddenly Jekyll doubles over in pain as Hyde emerges and takes over. Stride, a guest at the wedding, tries to overtake the maniacal groom, but Hyde is too fast for him; he grabs him and snaps his neck. Hyde grabs Emma and drags her toward the altar. Emma calls out to Henry, who vows that he will never hurt her because he is inside the evil Hyde. Hyde holds her close. After a long moment, he releases her. Hyde begs Utterson to kill him. Utterson holds a blade to Hyde/Jekyll's heart, but cannot harm his friend. Suddenly Hyde/Jekyll falls forward onto the sword. Emma cradles the tortured man. While she weeps softly, Jekyll dies in her arms.