Live Radio Show: "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" this weekend at Lakewood Playhouse

By Joann Varnell on October 23, 2014

Critics aren't often invited to preview a rehearsal which is why I was pleasantly surprised that director James Venturini allowed me to take a peek at their tech rehearsal for Lakewood Playhouse's upcoming show, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This particular show is Lakewood Playhouse's 7th Annual Live Radio Show and is also their spooky Halloween offering. For two nights only, the theater will be transformed into a live radio show featuring actors reading many parts and the director - and many of the actors - performing all the sound effects. The show starts with "another twisted episode from the iconic radio show Lights Out and many more surprises" before beginning Robert Louis Stevenson's classic horror tale of a scientist and the monster that lurks just under the surface.

Anyone that has ever wondered about sound effects on the radio - or even the Foley effects added into TV and film - should see this show. The Foley stage is set up stage right and contains a plethora of props and gadgets that give the auditory illusion of various things. The cleverness alone would have been impressive as a roaring fire, wind, things breaking and other more lurid - and some mundane - sounds were created but the quick pace and necessity of as many as three artists simultaneously creating the effects was simply fascinating to watch. Center stage are three microphones and behind them are chairs the actors inhabit when they aren't helping with sound effects or reading their lines in front of the mics.

The cast of seven takes on double duty (or more) by portraying more than one character. Maintaining one character can be challenging enough but portraying multiple characters without the aid of costuming and only their voices shows what a skilled cast director James Venturini has. Harlan Zinck is Mr. Roth and others, Kira Zinck plays various characters, David Phillips plays "a lot" as well as Dr. Lanyon, Kait Mahoney is Helen Trent, Mrs. Poole and others, Nicole Lockett plays Ms. Moss and others, Jimmy Gilletti is Mr. Utterson among others, and Christian Carvajal is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Judging by the camaraderie and verbal hijinks whenever they had a spare moment, the cast truly loves working with each other and enjoys the show. This love will no doubt be apparent in every line they perform and hopefully, in turn, the audience will walk away feeling like they saw something truly special.

Tickets are a great deal at $25 each or $40 per couple since light h'orderves are included. Five dollar glasses of wine will also be available making the show perfect for taking a special date or even just doing something fun for yourself.

DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24-Saturday, Oct. 25, Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. SW, Lakewood, $25, $40 couple, 253.588.0042