This story has been around a long time, so you might wonder how a fresh approach can be made, but this current two-person tale of the thin line between good and evil in all men is surprisingly entertaining, and worth the trip to the small two-story theater.
This interpretation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella was written and performed by Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg, and directed by Grinstead. The world premiere of the play was presented as part of The Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it was nominated for six Hollywood Fringe Festival Awards including Best Comedy, winner of the 2CentsTheatre Award for Distinctive Voices, and winner of the Soho Playhouse Fringe Encore Series Award and won the 2018 Los Angeles Fringe Festival Award.
On a minimal set, that the actors themselves move around in the dark like Lego pieces, Grinstead plays Jekyll and Hyde, as you would expect, and Anna Stromberg plays everyone else in an amazing tour de force that will leave you stunned as she switches gender, age and accents.
As good as Grinstead is in his transforming roles as the good doctor and the evil Hyde, Stromberg is the star of this show. She is an amazing talent.
There’s a real-life story behind the play as well. Grinstead met Stromberg in an acting class years ago and then met up with her again years later. He was so smitten with her that the two of them worked together and then wrote this play together. When the play closes on May 26th, the two of them will get married and then off to a honeymoon in Bali. There’s real chemistry between the two of them as well.
And if all that were not enough, the venue has a lovely bar downstairs were you are offered potent drinks under the names of the Jekyll and The Hyde. The Hyde is sweeter, but deadly.
The play is at the Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street, through May 26th.