Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at Fargo North High

Show runs through December 10th at Fargo North High.

By: Dec. 08, 2023
Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at Fargo North High
Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at Fargo North High

"The Mystery of Edwin Drood" is a unique and engaging musical that offers a fascinating interactive experience for both performers and audiences alike. The musical, written by Rupert Holmes, is based on Charles Dickens' unfinished novel of the same name. What sets this musical apart is its interactive and innovative concept where the audience gets to vote on key aspects of the storyline, including the identity of the murderer and the romantic pairings.

One of the strengths of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" lies in its versatility. The show allows for a high degree of creativity and adaptability in its production. The cast not only plays their designated characters but also portrays actors within a Victorian-era theatre company, adding an extra layer of complexity and intrigue. This dual-layered storytelling creates a dynamic and entertaining atmosphere.Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at Fargo North High

Rupert Holmes' musical score is a standout feature, incorporating a diverse range of styles that authentically capture the essence of the Victorian era while infusing contemporary elements. The songs are both catchy and emotionally resonant, effectively conveying the characters' feelings and the overarching mystery theme, complemented by the exceptional talent of the pit orchestra directed by Dr. Eric Saari.

Directors Tom and Rachel Gillen have orchestrated an exceptional cast and crew, bringing the production to life. Liv Helm's work on the costumes is commendable, and David Triptow's choreography adds to the overall joy of the performance. Vocal Director Katie Damico skillfully guides a cast that seems to possess unlimited talent.

Josiah Gillen's portrayal of the Chairman stands out, infusing humor and engagement into the production. Gillen's stage presence, comedic timing, and vocal prowess shine, particularly in numbers like "There You Are" and "Off To The Races." His collaboration with Seth LaMont (John Jasper) in "Both Sides of the Coin" is a highlight.Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at Fargo North High

Seth LaMont's portrayal of John Jasper, the antagonist, is another standout performance. LaMont's ability to evoke both love and hatred from the audience is impressive, with memorable moments in songs like "A Man Could Go Quite Mad," "Two Kinsman," "Both Sides of the Coin," and "Jasper's Confession."

Eliza McIntyre's portrayal of Edwin Drood is phenomenal, showcasing both stage presence and powerful vocals. Memorable moments include her performances in "Two Kinsman," "Perfect Strangers," and "The Writing On The Wall."

Bailey Kolesar captivates as Princess Puffer, delivering compelling scenes and impressive vocals in numbers like "The Wages of Sin," "A Private Investigation," and "The Garden Path to Hell."

Arlo Gould's Rosa Bud, with her beautiful voice, leaves a lasting impression, particularly in the spine-chilling note during "Moonfall" and her excellent rendition of "Perfect Strangers."

Review: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at Fargo North High Tyler Hoverson's performance as Bazzard steals the spotlight, earning the loudest applause of the night, notably in the powerful note of "Never the Luck." Equally impressive are his contributions to "Murderer's Confession."

Other notable performances include Nick Webb as The Reverend, Isaiah Jensrud as Neville, Susannah Schwantes as Helena, Benji Trumbo as Durdles, Lillian Dybing as Deputy, and Foster Helm as Stage Manager/James Throttle.

The abundance of talent on display is truly a joy, and it is highly recommended to witness this exceptional show. Congratulations to Tom, Rachel, and everyone involved in bringing this production to fruition!

**Photo Credit to deMarcel Photography