Monday, January 21, 2013

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

So far, this Broadway season is all about the revivals. Every new play or musical that opened in the fall closed prematurely, most with good reason. But of all the revivals, the production that comes closest to perfection is Roundabout Theatre Company's The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a revival of a 1985 musical by Rupert Holmes based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. The show is set in a Victorian music hall--you are transported there as soon as you enter Studio 54, with the posters lining the hall and the ushers in period dress--where an ensemble of actors is putting on their version of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Edwin Drood (Stephanie J. Block in fine voice) is a young man betrothed to Rosa Bud (the lovely Betsy Wolfe) from a young age, but they both want the chance to find love for themselves. When Drood is murdered, the most obvious suspect might seem to be his uncle, John Jasper (a deliciously dastardly Will Chase), who is in love with Rosa, but because the novel was never finished, it is up to the audience to decide on three aspects of the ending, including who is the murderer.

The show is so perfectly cast that it would be impossible to single out any actors, but I would like to mention Alison Cimmet, who did a fantastic job of filling in for Chita Rivera on my second viewing of the show. The cast seems to be having a blast being as over-the-top as they want to be and it is just as much fun to watch from the audience. But if I still haven't convinced you that this is a show worth seeing, this video just might:

No comments: