Haunting. That's the best single word descriptor for the revival of Jekyll & Hyde currently on stage at the Hobby Center. With its simple yet effective period sets, rock opera score from Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse and the soaring voice of Deborah Cox, the musical is a must-see for Houston audiences at an ideal time of year--Halloween.

Conceived for the stage by Tony and Grammy Award nominee Wildhorn and Steve Cuden, Jekyll & Hyde actually got its start on the Houston stage in 1990 before going on to a four-year run on Broadway. Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, this dark love story has since been performed around the world. The new production, starring Cox and Constantine Maroulis in the title role, began a nationwide tour this month before returning to Broadway this spring.

The story revolves around the earnest young Dr. Jekyll, a London physician who's determined to cure his father's mental illness through an experimental serum. When he accidentally unleashes his own evil, alternate personality, London is no longer safe and is own life is put in jeopardy.

Audiences familiar with the musical and those new to it will recall classic songs such as This is the Moment, A New Life and Someone Like You. Maroulis, the one-time American Idol finalist turned actor and musician whose performance in Rock of Ages won him a Tony nomination, has the look and depth to carry the dual personality demanded of the role. His performance of This is the Moment, just before his initial transformation into Mr. Hyde in the first act is stirring though tinged with an obvious foreboding.

But it's Cox, the one-time backup singer turned commanding pop chart diva (Nobody's Supposed to be Here), whose soaring voice steals the show. Her performance of Bring on the Men is sexy and seductive while A New Life in the second act is a heartfelt, emotionally charged anthem of a girl trying to escape a pitiable existence.

The music of Jekyll & Hyde is at times thrillingly violent rock, at others lyrical, almost operatic. Audiences will leave spellbound and, yes haunted, by this monstrous work.

Jekyll & Hyde runs through Oct. 21 at Theatre Under the Stars. Read a Q&A with Deborah Cox from CultureMap.