The Mystery of Edwin Drood Gets Solved; Broadway Revival Ends March 10
By Kenneth Jones
The troupers of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, one of the best-reviewed musicals of the 2012-13 Broadway season, pack their trunks after the March 10 matinee. Roundabout Theatre Company's extended run ends as scheduled following 28 previews and 136 regular performances at Studio 54.
In recent weeks, Erin Davie and Andrew Samonsky joined the company, playing roles (Rosa Bud and Neville Landless, respectively) created by Andy Karl (who returned to Broadway's Jersey Boys) and Betsy Wolfe (who now stars in an Off-Broadway revival of The Last Five Years).
Scott Ellis (Curtains, Twelve Angry Men) directs the revival of the 1985 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, which has Tony Award-winning book and songs by Rupert Holmes. Read Playbill.com's extensive interview with Holmes, who talks about the history of the show, which is inspired by Charles Dickens' final unfinished novel.
The Roundabout production was originally announced to close Feb. 10. The staging spawned a cast recording, released on the DRG label, which offered content far beyond what the original 1980s recording gave us. Watch the Playbill Video of the recording session.
The revival featured choreography by Warren Carlyle and music direction by Paul Gemignani. The design team included Anna Louizos (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes), Brian Nason (lighting), Tony Meola (sound) and Paul Huntley (hair & wigs).
The Mystery of Edwin Drood stars Stephanie J. Block (Edwin Drood), Will Chase (John Jasper), Gregg Edelman (Reverend Mr. Crisparkle), Jim Norton (Chairman) and Chita Rivera (Princess Puffer) with Jessie Mueller (Helena Landless), Nicholas Barasch (Deputy), Peter Benson (Bazzard), Robert Creighton (Durdles), Alison Cimmet, Nick Corley, Janine DiVita, Jenifer Foote, Justin Greer, Shannon Lewis, Spencer Plachy, Kiira Schmidt, Eric Sciotto and Jim Walton. Here's the Playbill Leading Men column about Will Chase and Jim Norton.
The musical is told by a rowdy ensemble of actors in a Victorian London music hall. The audience famously determines the killer at the end of the show. Here's how Roundabout billed the show: "Take a trip back in time to a Victorian music hall where a rowdy ensemble of actors mounts a staging of Charles Dickens' unfinished novel.' Everyone on stage is a suspect in the murder of young Edwin Drood, and it's up to you to choose the killer! Is it John Jasper, Edwin's protective but slightly maniacal uncle? Rosa Bud, his reluctant betrothed? The debauched Princess Puffer? Each performance ends differently, depending on what the audience decides!"
Previews began Oct. 19, 2012, toward an opening of Nov. 13. Studio 54 is at 254 W. 54th Street. For tickets and information, visit roundabouttheatre.org.
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