Reading the Writing

Jekyll & Hyde

AUTHOR'S COMMENT
"Jekyll & Hyde, like many other Frank Wildhorn musicals, ranks among the most revised pieces in theater history. It seems everybody and their brother has made an effort to fix this thing. Many fans lavish praise on the pre-Broadway versions currently licensed by MTI, without regard to the fact that the book on Broadway was a) nominated for a Tony, and b) is arguably the most coherent of all available versions. As such, I have always been the (sometimes seemingly lone) champion of the Broadway book.

At the same time, I was well aware of a 2006 recording, Jekyll & Hyde: Resurrection, released by Wildhorn's GlobalVision label, which reflected his current intentions for the bulk of the show's score. Of all the versions of the show, I enjoy this recording the most, if only for Alex Skolnick's incredible guitar work and the current bend of most of the arrangements. I found myself in the unique position of being a proponent of the Broadway book and Resurrection score, and I began to wonder this month if there was a possibility for middle ground. Having already created fan screenplays, a fan stage play did not seem beyond my talents.

Armed with a copy of the David Hasselhoff DVD, the Resurrection lyric sheet, and the MTI script (the one with the red cover, for those close fans who have found this page), I set to work. The DVD provided the full extent of the dialogue and plot constructs, the MTI script was useful for stage directions (which at times lended the material a film-like quality; in reality, while working on this, I felt very little detachment from my usual territory), and the Resurrection recording and lyric sheet provided alternate numbers for several of the clunkier Broadway moments. In the end, I managed to meet my goal: a script that combined the Broadway construct (and some incidental numbers, regrettably including the endless reprises of "Facade") with all of the songs from Jekyll & Hyde: Resurrection, maybe not necessarily in the order in which they appeared on CD, but slotted perfectly into the construct which I created for them.

Certainly ambitious. Special thanks to JP and Jack Danya Kemplin for their comments and input, which was certainly invaluable."

To view the Jekyll & Hyde script, please click here.  The password is "jekyll" without quotes.

Pippin

AUTHOR'S COMMENT
"When I was little, I first discovered Stephen Schwartz's music through the wonderful Godspell. I was religious as a kid, and already heavily into Jesus Christ Superstar; a friendly neighbor lady recommended Godspell to me, and I was hooked. I fell hopelessly in love with Schwartz's work. When the Internet came into my life, I learned just how much of my childhood's soundtrack he was responsible for: Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt. I followed breathlessly, along with his biggest fans, the creation and success of Wicked. And while reading about my colleague Michael Butler's project Pope Joan, I was introduced in their supplementary material to "the other musical set in the 9th century," Pippin.

My initial interest involved nothing more than reading the play at the library (in a published hardbound edition which did not seem to include any of Bob Fosse's contributions to the script), listening to the score (which I loved), and reading about the "new Theo ending" on Schwartz's website; Papermill Playhouse developed a new ending which Schwartz liked, approved of, and eventually added to the licensed version of the show.

As time went by, I learned more about Pippin and the creative differences about what the show should be (much exaggerated, in my opinion) between Fosse and Schwartz, thanks in no small part to Scott Miller's enlightening article on Pippin. In comparing the script (based on the hardback edition, but with slight differences inherent to a license copy) floating around the Internet to the 1981 video of the Fosse version (both in its officially released and "alternate edit" cuts, the latter once again thanks to some anonymous friends ), I discovered that Bob made a lot of vital contributions to the final product, and, encouraged by my recent Jekyll & Hyde efforts, I began creating a stage edit that re-inserted as much Fosse as I could add to the script. I also inserted portions of Scott Miller's article throughout as informal "director's notes," a la Schwartz's 1999 additions to the Godspell script, to allow people using this script to give it that extra touch.

I learned later that the script currently licensed by MTI, in addition to including the "new Theo ending" and other small changes, re-inserted a lot of Fosse's contributions. In re-evaluating the script for this website, I therefore went back and took a second look with the MTI script in hand, incorporating the changes and additions that I thought worked, including Theo as an "emo" teenager and the new lyrics for "Extraordinary," which I felt were more naturalistic and suited the sequence better.

Furthermore, in a West Coast production, Schwartz added a new song, "Back in the Bosom," to the initial scenes where Pippin arrives home from school before going off to war. With the help of Michael Cole, Schwartz's assistant, via StephenSchwartz.com, I was able to incorporate the lyrics to this new number, which reads like a parody of the quintessential Eighties sitcom theme song form (much in keeping with the rest of Pippin's over-the-top theatricality), wrap the scene around them, and even re-insert a Fosse line (Stuart Ostrow's much-beloved favorite "Why do I always get nauseous when he calls me father?") where appropriate.

Like Stephen, I believe that this is a version Fosse would be proud of, and that's certainly what I intended. Enjoy!"

To view the Pippin script, please click here.  The password is "pippin" without quotes.