THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews

LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 03:32am
Today is Tuesday, November 13, marking the official opening night performance of the first-ever, twenty-years-in-the-making Broadway revival of THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD. This whodunnit mystery-musical comedy transports audiences to Victorian-era London to help resolve Charles Dickens' final, and unfinished tale, at Studio 54. The Rupert Holmes musical, which stars Stephanie J. Block, Chita Rivera and Will Chase, allows audiences to vote on the ending of the intricate tale.

The musical is set up as a show-within-a-show, with a troupe of celebrated music hall performers enacting Dickens' incomplete 1870 novel. Holmes wrote the book, music and lyrics, inviting audiences to take part in the action with a choose-your-own-adventure-style ending where they vote on which character murders Drood (as well as choosing a romantic pairing and the identity of a mystery detective). Holmes has penned multiple endings, confessional songs and plot twists for DROOD, which keeps its actors on their toes.

The musical first premiered as part of Shakespeare in the Park in 1985. The celebrated production, stuffed with chamber pieces and English Music Hall-style songs, transferred to Broadway and picked up Tony Awards for Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical.

The cast of possible suspects and shadowy characters include Chita Rivera as Princess Puffer, Jim Norton as Chairman, Will Chase as John Jasper, Gregg Edelman as Reverend Mr. Crisparkle, Jessie Mueller as Helena Landless, Betsy Wolfe as Rosa Bud, Andy Karl as Neville Landless, Nicholas Barasch as Deputy, Peter Benson as Bazzard, Robert Creighton as Durdles, Alison Cimmet , Jim Walton, Nick Corley, Justin Greer, Shannon Lewis, Kiira Schmidt, Eric Sciotto, Janine DiVita, Jenifer Foote and Spencer Plachy.

"Who killed Edwin Drood?" Roundabout asks. "It's a question that has stumped audiences for years — now it's your turn to answer one of Broadway's most baffling mysteries. 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!"

Wishing a very Happy Opening to the misfits at the Music Hall Royale!
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 04:06am
Wow this opening night creeped up fast! I feel like it just started previews!
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
jacobsnchz14
Broadway Legend
joined:12/13/06
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 08:30am
Very excited to read some reviews that are (hopefully) positive!
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 08:55am
Difficult to imagine not liking this fun and silly revival of a fun and silly show.
ajh
Featured Actor
joined:5/6/11
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 09:43am
*excited*
ACL2006
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/06
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 12:32pm
just curious if they've extended already as Playbill has Studio 54/Drood until March 3, 2013?
A Chorus Line played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013.
bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 12:57pm
From what I have been told by one of the cast members at the stage door it that if the NYTIMES gives them a rave, Roundabout is extending The Mystery of Edwin Drood through June, tomorrow regardless of current sales.
mmh1019
Understudy
joined:4/9/12
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 01:41pm
there is a name missing from @Limelightmike's original post, Kyle Coffman is in the production as well. He was one of the standout dancers from the original cast of Newsies, he's fantastic.

I did this show as a junior in high school (at an all girls school no less!) 8 years ago, and I always wondered when it would come back to broadway. I'm so excited! The costumes & set look spectacular and from what I've read Warren Carlyle has somewhat redeemed himself after A Tale of Two Cities and the less than stellar reviews of Chaplin.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 06:37pm
amNY is very positive:

"As atmospherically staged by Scott Ellis, with sprightly choreography by Warren Carlyle and excellent music direction by Paul Gemignani, this production is a reminder that well-known musicals do not need to be reconstructed or darkened for their revivals. If the show is strong, have faith in it and all will fall into place."

http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/theater-review-the-mystery-of-edwin-drood-4-stars-1.4219057

Updated On: 11/13/12 at 06:37 PM
jacobsnchz14
Broadway Legend
joined:12/13/06
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 06:55pm
If it extends to June, I'd be very happy!!
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 07:59pm
Backstage is positive for the production, but super negative for the show, which he seems to hate (he hated the original too). He gives it a C+:

"Director Scott Ellis’ edition is brisker and brighter than Wilford Leach’s original, most notably in the performances of Will Chase and Betsy Wolfe as Jasper and Rosa. The creepy sexual tension between the broodingly erotic Howard McGillin and the nervously neurotic Patti Cohenour is entirely absent. Chase opts for energetic mustache-twirling and Wolfe sticks with innocent and virginal, though both sing powerfully. In the pants role of Drood, Stephanie Block cavorts with a winking manliness and employs her spectacular voice authoritatively, though she lacks originator Betty Buckley’s sharp edge. Jessie Mueller and Andy Karl milk Helena and Neville’s cartoon exoticism for big laughs, and Gregg Edelman dithers appropriately as Crisparkle. Best are the elegantly authentic Jim Norton, absolutely the equal of the peerless George Rose as the troupe’s leader and our host, and, as Puffer, the playful Chita Rivera, who knows in her bones how to do a star turn despite the worst cockney accent since Dick Van Dyke.

The audience I saw “Drood” with adored it, and I suspect most will, so hooray for Roundabout. Alas, the show still makes my teeth hurt.


http://www.backstage.com/review/ny-theater/broadway/the-mystery-of-edwin-drood-roundabout-theatre-company-rupert-holmes-charles-dickens/
choitoy
Broadway Star
joined:12/12/07
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 08:10pm
I'm hoping for many more good reviews and hope for an extension. I was planning on coming back to NY in late March or April, and I would love to see a production of "Drood" finally.
Xanadu! Can't cry on cue!
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 08:11pm
The AP is very positive:

"No matter: There's the legendary Rivera (as the nefarious Princess Puffer) singing "The Wages of Sin," there's Chase (of "Smash" fame) chewing scenery and doing so marvelously, and there's Block (cross-dressing as the title character) who sings and jokes superbly. Norton, as the chairman, is loony and adorable.

Other highlights include an opium dream beautifully realized by choreographer Warren Carlyle and Anna Louizos' sets that includes a terrific steam-puffing train. William Ivey Long seems to have had as much fun making the lush costumes, especially the Indian-inspired ones worn by Mueller and Karl.

Although "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" won Tony Awards for best musical, best book and best score in 1985, this is the first time it has returned to Broadway. The reason may be simple: In the wrong hands, it can sit awkwardly in a Broadway house — too zany, too arch. But these are the right hands: There are veterans at every turn. So no matter who gets the most votes, everyone wins."


http://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/Review-Veterans-save-The-Mystery-of-Edwin-Drood-4034501.php
NewYorkTheater
Broadway Star
joined:1/23/10
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 08:19pm

The Mystery of Drood” is not really a mystery...not a traditional musical. Call it an entertainment, and a clever game, and prepare to have fun.
....Such interactive theater and meta fiddling was more a novelty when Drood first hit Broadway, before such mischievous non-mysteries like “Twin Peaks” and long before such “immersive” experiences that put theatergoers in control like “Sleep No More.” The effect of all this playing around, whether intentional or not, is to keep the audience at a remove from Dickens’ story. This is not a show for serious consumers of mysteries, even though the man who created it – he wrote the book, music, lyrics and orchestrations – changed his name from David Goldstein to Rupert Holmes in honor of Sherlock.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood: No Mystery It's Back on Broadway

Mattbrain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/23/05
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 09:47pm
Butters, go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you. --Cartman: South Park ATTENTION FANS: I will be played by James Barbour in the upcoming musical, "BroadwayWorld: The Musical."
Bialyhoos22
Stand-by
joined:12/21/05
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 09:57pm
Chriiist...what crawled up her ass and died? That's the most unnecessarily negative, pissy review I've read from her in a long time. She's always a little ascerbic in her writing but man...it's like she's been holding up her deep resentment for this show since that balmy summer eve in '85. You can hate the show but at least this fine cast and production its due -- there is a great deal of artistry going on that stage that makes the evening come off as well as it does (in spite of flaws in the material)
Updated On: 11/13/12 at 09:57 PM
chanel
Featured Actor
joined:1/28/04
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:04pm
Positive from villagevoice.com:

"Victorian literature meets American Idol--an appealing mix."

Seems to like Jim Norton and Chita the best.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/dailymusto/2012/11/the_mystery_of.php
ReggieonBway
Broadway Star
joined:1/29/11
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:12pm
...I can't be the only one who loves the show itself...
undercoveractor
Stand-by
joined:9/12/08
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:21pm
^^^ No, I .love and admire the piece too! In fact, it is a favorite.
This production deserves far better reviews than these.
carousel94
Chorus Member
joined:12/27/10
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:22pm
Reggie, you are not the only one but it does seem like we are a small group!

Updated On: 11/14/12 at 10:22 PM
little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:24pm
I love this show too! I think the score is just fantastic.
A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
BwayBaby18
Broadway Legend
joined:2/19/05
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:26pm
I hate when a revival is being reviewed and people complain about the structure of the play in the review. Guess what someone probably complained about it before and now we must deal with it. Review the cast/design/direction don't fault the experience of the production because you don't enjoy the structure. *End of soap box*
mmh1019
Understudy
joined:4/9/12
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:28pm
since i did this show 8 years ago, it's always been one of my favorite & i was wondering when it would come back to broadway. it's fun, clever & makes for a great night of theatre. and the audience participation is an added bonus. agree w/ the poster above me, critique the current production, not the structure of the show itself. i've had friends see it & say it's a really well done revival. hoping to catch it soon!
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:33pm
He has problems with the show itself, but Isherwood's review looks very positive, if not pretty damn close to a being a rave.

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/theater/reviews/the-mystery-of-edwin-drood-revived-by-roundabout-theater.html?ref=theater&pagewanted=1

Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
Updated On: 11/13/12 at 10:33 PM
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 10:53pm
The score is a gem, all the more wonderful now. And the clips shown here make a persuasive case for this clearly beautifully conceived production.

"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
Updated On: 11/13/12 at 10:53 PM
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Reviews
Posted: 11/13/12 at 11:21pm
Isherwood is writing more and more Broadway reviews. Does this mean Brantley is slowly being pushed out the door?

Updated On: 11/13/12 at 11:21 PM

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