The Jekyll and Hyde Tour
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P.D.Q. Bach & Peter Schickele:  The Jekyll and Hyde Tour

  P.D.Q. Bach and Peter Schickele:  The Jekyll and Hyde Tour is a two-faced concert production that does not require blackmailing local orchestra members to play P.D.Q. Bach’s music.  This program requires nothing but a piano, plus a decently-equipped and sold-out auditorium (Joke. They’ll play for anybody who wanders in.).  In this two-composers-for-the-price-of-one performance, singers Michèle Eaton and Brian Dougherty perform such classic P.D.Q. classics as the recently-discovered Four Next-to-Last Songs and the heart-rendering Shepherd on the Rocks, With a Twist, which features Prof. Schickele playing the tromboon (a cross between a trombone and a bassoon, combining all the disadvantages of both in one easy-to-schlep instrument) and the lasso d’amore.   Audiences also experience (among other delicacies) excerpts from the Little Notebook for “Piggy” Bach.

The Jekyll (or is it Hyde?) part of the program features songs and rounds by Peter Schickele, including the notorious rock ‘n’ roll settings of famous Shakespeare speeches (as heard in the composer’s solo song programs as well as on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion), as well as even more music by P.D.Q. Bach, including the musical recipe PDQ 3-Step Crab Dinner.

This tastefully boffo program is playing at indiscriminating theatres around the country.  See the concert schedule page for dates and places. 


Audio Sample

P.D.Q. Bach and Peter Schickele:  The Jekyll and Hyde Tour (excerpts) Many selections from this concert program were recorded on the Telarc CD of the same name.  This audio sample contains excerpts from the following:  Long Live The King—Introduction—Das kleines Birdie, Der Cowboykönig, and Es war ein dark und shtormy Night from Four Next-To-Last SongsIf Love Is Real—Introduction—Cyndi—Introduction—Hamlet’s Soliloquy, The Three Witches from MacBeth, Juliet’s Soliloquy, and Funeral Oration from Julius Caesar from Songs from Shakespeare

Audio Samples can be played using the free RealAudio player. 




Here are some excerpts from recent reviews describing the Jekyll and Hyde Tour:

bullet[The] audience was mightily and consistently entertained at this performance, billed as The Jekyll and Hyde Tour—the program is devoted half to P.D.Q.’s music, half to Schickele’s.  It is expertly executed by commentator-keyboardist-singer Schickele, still impersonating the unkempt professor, and assisted by two versatile singers, soprano Michèle Eaton and tenor David Düsing.  One laughed long and hard at the Schubertian Four Next-to-Last Songs....  Comedy-wise, all three performers hit the mark throughout, and all used their several and legitimate musical abilities sharply.  

— Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times



bulletPeter Schickele, best known as the perpetrator of the oeuvre of P.D.Q. Bach, is a very funny man, gifted with both musical talent and a fine sense of the absurd.  The Jekyll and Hyde Tour combined the P.D.Q. Bach material (as much standup comedy as music) with songs written under his own name.  Schickele challenges his listeners to decide which is Jekyll and which is Hyde; by concert’s end, the identities were clear.  His co-dependents in the performance were Michèle Eaton, soprano (who spent the first half disguised as “Nurse Crumley”) and David Düsing, tenor.  Schickele, basso blotto, made his entrance in a wheelchair.  At 65, he no longer does his old descent-from-the-balcony routine, but he still wears his white tie (askew) with lumberjack boots — to unleash a splendid barrage of puns and jokes.  

— Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


bulletPeter Schickele arrived in a wheelchair for his concert Thursday night at Severance Hall.  Pushed down the aisle at top speed by Nurse Crumley, he was unceremoniously dumped at the foot of the stage.  Picking himself up and brushing himself off, he lumbered on stage and launched into a nutty monologue.  For the next two hours, he kept the audience in stitches with his zany new show, The Jekyll and Hyde Tour.  In his absent-minded professor persona, Schickele lectured, sang and played the piano, tromboon (a hybrid instrument combining the worst features of trombone and bassoon) and lasso d’amore (a hollow tube that produced musical tones when whirled above the head).  He was assisted by soprano Michèle Eaton, who portrayed Nurse Crumley, and tenor David Düsing, who also functioned as keyboardist, percussionist and stage manager.  After intermission, Schickele departed from the printed program and launched into a delightful series of musical party games.  Among the clever tricks were three-part rounds with ridiculous words, canons in inversion and retrograde, musical greetings composed for family celebrations, a lampoon of French lyrics and a medley of ’60s-style songs in close harmony.  

— Wilma Salisbury, The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer


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