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Model Behavior

"A play played at right angles" might be an apt description of Richard Alger's reimagination of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Masterfully choreographed and directed by Tina Kronis, an ensemble of 11 performers, in their own words, "shreds" the story into a movement-based, bare-bones series of scenes punctuated by musical numbers. The action follows London lawyer Mr. Utterson (Jake Eberle), as he investigates strange occurrences between his old friend Dr. Jekyll (Jacob Sidney), and the misanthropic Mr. Hyde, who is first discovered by Utterson's acquaintance Mr. Enfield (Jonathan Green). Utterson is aided by reports from Jekyll's butler, Mr. Poole (Mark Skeens), and his domestic staff, as well as by Dr. Lanyon (David LM McIntyre), to whom Jekyll reveals his split personality. The performers, dressed in period attire but barefoot, remind one of the ensembles behind avant-garde works of the 1960s like The Serpent or modern incarnations like The Wooster Group. Christopher Kuhl's dynamic lighting, which compensates for the almost non-existent set, emphasizes Kronis' precise direction and 90-degree choreography. The cast shines in its exacting execution of Kronis' minimalist vision, proving Mr. Utterson's observation that "never is a reflection more thoroughly itself than when it is nothing." 24th Street Theatre, 1117 W. 24th St., downtown; Sat., 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through February 22. (213) 745-6516. A Theatre Movement Bazaar Production.
Fri., Jan. 30, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Thu., Feb. 12, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 30. Continues through Feb. 22, 2009

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