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MSUM Professors display their talents in ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ musical

In its sixth season, the Musical Theater of Fargo-Moorhead presents “Jekyll and Hyde,” featuring the talents of a few MSUM professors.

Opening Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m., the show is set to run through next Sunday. The show dates are Sept. 6-8 and 13-15 at 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m.

“‘Jekyll & Hyde” is a familiar story with contemporary music. Students can enjoy seeing the story of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ brought to life using all the elements of musical theater,” said MSUM music professor Julie Adams, who is the production’s musical director.

Unlike the usual lighthearted musical comedies, this show brings to life Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic gothic novel with song and dance.

musictheatrefm.com

“Jekyll and Hyde” grabs the audience’s attention right away as it opens in a late 19th century insane asylum. The inspiration for Dr. Jekyll’s quest is presented as the audience meets his father, once a great man, now suffering in madness. Dr. Jekyll risks everything as he seeks a solution to reversing the sinful desires within, transforming him into the atrocious Mr. Hyde.

“It is murder, mayhem and sex. It has a wide appeal as it is dark, gritty and fast-paced,” MSUM theater arts professor Craig Ellingson said.

Ellingson stars as the characters of the kind Dr. Jekyll and the power-hungry Mr. Hyde.

“It is always vulnerable to let your students see you perform but allows me to put my theories into practice,” Ellingson said. This semester, Ellingson has the opportunity to pass along his knowledge in the classes movement for the actor, principles of choreography, acting styles: musical theatre and advancing directing.

Kimberly Miller, who works in the MSUM theater costume shop, directs “Jekyll and Hyde.”

“This production is very relevant to current events. It portrays the struggle between upper class and the lower class. Today, we are questioning the same issues with 99 vs. 1 percent debate,” Miller said.

As Dr. Jekyll’s sickness progresses, the differences between his outward appearance and his inner disease is magnified and mirrored in his friends and acquaintances.

“This production displays an important message, that everyone is not what they seem,” Miller said.

Like Miller, Ellingson also finds a strong meaning in the show.

“Students can take away the lesson of Dr. Jekyll and look at the facades they put up in everyday life,” Ellignson said.

All performances will take place at The Stage at Island Park, 333 4th St. S., Fargo.

For ticket information, visit musictheatrefm.com or call The tage box office at 701.235.6778.

BY APRIL KNUTSON
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