The Mammal’s latest is a well-cast meander through duality, casting off Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale and instilling it with the group’s trademark dark humor and love of the grotesque.
The plot’s a little elliptical. The script spends a great deal of time establishing Dr. Henry Jekyll’s objectives but his plans are convoluted; vignettes lack goals, characters lack clearly defined purpose. Fortunately, the performances cut through the occasional morass. Scott Barsotti embodies the refined but bloodless Jekyll; Gabe Garza scores as perverted frat-boy Hyde. The usually testosterone-infused Mammals environment makes room for some terrific female performances; Skyler Schrempp as Jekyll’s mad-dog genius mother and Sarah Scanlon as his take-no-crap lover display enviable acting and musical chops.
John Ross Wilson’s ornate rag-and-bone shop set makes great use of the deep, narrow space; Heidi Jade Warriner’s Victorian shabby chic costumes give the show its ragged, dreamy sparkle. (Lisa Buscani)
The Mammals Theatre Company at Zoo Studio, 4001 North Ravenswood, (866)593-4614. Through April 2.