With its adaptation of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Oklahoma City Theatre Company has returned to the source: Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella.
This OCTC staging follows a contemporary trend toward theatrical minimalism in reworking famous pieces. The show is technically bare-bones, with only a scrim and quick lighting cues, although the footlights cast marvelous double shadows on the back wall when Jekyll speaks to the audience.
Joshua Irick is a huge presence, both physically and mentally, as Jekyll/Hyde, showing a fascinating performance. Rick Cheek's baritone adds melodic depth to his sensitive portrayal of Jekyll's friends.
Timothy Berg captures the 1800s manner nicely as the curious lawyer. Ian Clinton works in dual roles, his reverend needing more energy, but the inspector providing nice comic relief.
Carol Klages, playing both Jekyll's housekeeper and Hyde's landlady, has an earnest crispness that gives a welcome feminine perspective. Michele Fields has whiny fun with prostitute Lizzy.
This is the literary side of the scary fable. If you must have Halloween blood and gore, this probably isn't the show for you. But if you'd like a sophisticated trip back to the rich words that originally spun the story, you'll get a wonderfully horrifying earful.