Foothill Music Theatre will Present THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD This February
Multi-award winning Foothill Music Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Adapted from Charles Dickens's unfinished novel of the same name, this hilarious whodunit invites audiences to solve its main mystery by identifying the murderer of its title character, offering a different conclusion to each performance. When young Edwin Drood disappears, everyone he knows becomes a suspect. Among the lineup of criminal culprits are Drood's dashing but villainous uncle, his beautiful fiancée, mysterious guests, and the purveyor of the opium den. Under the direction of Milissa Carey and music direction of Amanda Ku, The Mystery of Edwin Drood will play February 27- March 15, 2020 (press opening: February 28) with performances 7:30pm Thursdays, 8:00pm Fridays & Saturdays (with an added 2pm performance on Saturday, March 7), and 2pm Sundays at the Lohman Theatre, 12345 El Monte Rd (I-280 & El Monte Road), Los Altos Hills. Tickets ($12 - $36) and information can be found at www.foothill.edu/theatre or by phone at (650) 949-7360.
Presented as a play within a play by a loony Victorian theatre company, this rollicking musical comedy debuted at New York Shakespeare Festival before moving to Broadway, where it became a smash hit, winning 4 Tony Awards including "Best Musical," "Best Original Score," and "Best Book." Its 2012 Broadway Revival by Roundabout Theatre Company received a New York Times Critic's Pick and five Tony Award nominations including "Best Revival of a Musical." New York Post called The Mystery of Edwin Drood "jolly good fun," and USA Today said this musical murder mystery "combines raucous comedy, lush tunes and audience participation to create a festive atmosphere in which life is celebrated, even if death is integral to the plot."
Foothill Music Theatre has assembled a powerhouse cast for this madcap mystery musical. Chloë Angst makes her Foothill Music Theatre debut as Edwin Drood, the young man whose disappearance has the town of Cloisterham reeling. Recently starring as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Jekyll & Hyde at Sunnyvale Community Players, Angst has also been seen at Broadway by the Bay, City Lights Theatre Company, Los Altos Stage Company, Contra Costa Civic Theatre, Lamplighters Music Theatre, and Pocket Opera.
John Mannion makes his Foothill Music Theatre debut as The Chairman, the host of the evening's mysterious proceedings. An improv veteran, Mannion performed competitive improv at San Jose ComedySportz as a player, referee, and coach, and is the founder of Mumblypeg, a sketch/ improv/ musical comedy troupe that performed at HBO Showcase and headlined The Big Stinkin' Improv Festival alongside members of "MadTV" and "Saturday Night Live." Mannion was also a member of Bay Area-based bands The Members and Puffer. Returning to Foothill Music Theatre where she was seen in Curtains, The Producers, and Urinetown, Heather Orth plays Princess Puffer, the proprietress of the Opium Den. Recently appearing as Mrs. Bennet in the record-breaking World Premiere Musical adaptation of Pride and Prejudice at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Orth won Theatre Bay Area Awards for her performances in Sweeney Todd at Hillbarn Theatre, Sister Act at Berkeley Playhouse and The Boys from Syracuse at 42nd Street Moon, and won San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for her performances in Jesus Christ Superstar at Ray of Light Theatre and The Secret Garden at 42nd Street Moon, as well as for Chess and Grey Gardens at Custom Made Theatre Company. Orth has also performed at Feinstein's at the Nikko and with Symphony Silicon Valley
Brenna Sammon makes her Foothill Music Theatre debut as Rosa Bud, Drood's fiancée. Sammon's theatre credits include productions at Hillbarn Theatre, Cabrillo Stage, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and Pacifica Spindrift Players. Benjamin Ball makes his Foothill Music Theatre debut as John Jasper, Drood's devious uncle. Performing at President Barack Obama's first inauguration with the United States Naval Academy, Ball has appeared in productions at Broadway by the Bay, Hillbarn Theater, Woodminster Summer Musicals, and Pacifica Spindrift Players.
Aaron Hurley plays Reverend Crisparkle, who oversees the Cloisterham Cathedral. Hurley returns to Foothill Music Theatre, where he was seen in Bullets Over Broadway The Musical (Julian Marx), The Sound of Music (Max), 9 to 5 The Musical (Franklin Hart), and Damn Yankees, and he has also acted in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's New Works Festival and at local theatres including Los Altos Stage Company, South Bay Musical Theatre, Palo Alto Players, Sunnyvale Community Players, and Woodside Community Theatre. Returning to Foothill Music Theatre, Rachelle Abbey and David Murphy take on the roles of Helena and Neville Landless, orphaned siblings who come from Ceylon to stay with Reverend Crisparkle. Recently starring as Judy in Foothill Music Theatre's 9 to 5 The Musical, Abbey has also been seen in productions with Palo Alto Players, South Bay Musical Theatre, Hillbarn Theatre, Tabard Theatre Company, Sunnyvale Community Players, West Valley Light Opera, and Woodside Community Theatre. Performing in Foothill Music Theatre's production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Murphy has also appeared at Palo Alto Players, Berkeley Playhouse, Broadway by the Bay, Los Altos Stage Company, South Bay Musical Theatre, and West Valley Light Opera.
Linda Piccone takes on the role of Mrs. Durdles, a gravedigger that tends to the catacombs of the Cloisterham cathedral. Returning to Foothill Music Theatre, where she received a Theatre Bay Area Award nomination for her performance in Sunday in the Park with George and was seen in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Working, and The Pajama Game, Piccone has also acted in productions at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Palo Alto Players, Broadway by the Bay, Hillbarn Theatre, and City Lights Theatre Company. Dan Cardenas plays The Deputy, Durdles's young assistant. Appearing in Foothill Music Theatre's productions of 9 to 5 The Musical and Shrek the Musical, Cardenas has also performed with Foothill Theatre Arts, Palo Alto Players, Los Altos Stage Company and Sunnyvale Community Players. Scott Solomon plays Mr. James Throttle, the Victorian theatre company's stage manager. Recently seen as Captain Von Trapp in Foothill Music Theatre's The Sound of Music, Solomon has also performed at Broadway by the Bay, Hillbarn Theatre, Los Altos Stage Company, Palo Alto Players, Pear Theatre, and Coastal Repertory Theatre.
The cast is rounded out by the Citizens of Cloisterham, played by Helena Clarkson, Nick Conrad, Jessica Ellithorpe, Zack Goller, Seth Goyal, Kayvon Kordestani, Max Kranzler, M.C. Mendonca, Cody Putz, Skyler Riordan, Greg Robbins, Erika Strandberg, Alea Selburn, and Mary Wolper.
Milissa Carey (Director) joined the Foothill faculty in 2003 and teaches in both the Theatre and Music Departments. Carey has directed Foothill Music Theatre productions of Spring Awakening, Little Shop of Horrors, South Pacific, Sunday in the Park with George, All Shook Up, Working, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, She Loves Me, Side Show, Shrek The Musical, 9 to 5 The Musical, and most recently The Sound of Music. Other directing credits include Kiss Me Kate and Almost, Maine. She has directed projects at RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London), the American Conservatory Theater M.F.A. Program, Broadway By the Bay, Los Altos Stage Company, California Conservatory Theatre, Opera Academy of the West, among others. An award-winning Bay Area actress, Carey has performed leading roles with many Bay Area theatre companies including TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Center Repertory Theatre of Walnut Creek, San Jose Repertory Theatre, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, CentralWorks, and 42nd Street Moon. She was in the cast of the 25th Anniversary Broadway National Tour of Evita under the direction of Hal Prince. Carey is on the faculty of the M.F.A. program at American Conservatory Theater and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Amanda Ku (Music Director) is a collaborative pianist, theatre musician, and music director in her native San Francisco Bay Area. Music directing credits include Flower Drum Song and A Christmas Story: The Musical (Palo Alto Players), Peter and the Starcatcher (Hillbarn Theatre), and Bullets Over Broadway (West Valley Light Opera). Ku is currently the staff accompanist for Los Altos High School choirs and Cantabile Youth Singers, and the vocal coach and accompanist for Leigh High School's musical theater program. She has also had the pleasure of collaborating with distinguished choral conductors for various local, regional, and all-state Honor Choirs. She can also be found playing for musical theater auditions, rehearsals, and pit orchestras across the South Bay and Peninsula.
Mystery novelist-playwright-composer-screenwriter-performer Rupert Holmes is the first person in theatrical history to solely win Tony awards as an author, a composer and a lyricist. He solely authored The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which earned him Tony Awards for Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Musical. He has also garnered Tony Award nominations for his play Say Goodnight Gracie and the musical Curtains, for which he wrote the Drama Desk Award-winning book. Other plays include a recent Broadway adaptation of John Grisham's A Time to Kill, as well as Solitary Confinement and Accomplice. Holmes collaborated with Marvin Hamlisch as the book writer and lyricist of the award-winning musical adaptation of The Nutty Professor, and worked with pop songwriters Melissa Manchester and Sharon Vaughn as the book writer of the new musical Sweet Potato Queens. Best known for his #1 multia?'platinum smash "Escape" ("The Pina Colada Song,") Holmes has arranged, conducted and written platinum recordings for Barbra Streisand, including songs for her Lazy Afternoon album and his songs for the Golden Globe-winning score of A Star is Born. His works have been performed and recorded by many leading vocalists, including Renée Fleming, Britney Spears, Barry Manilow, Dolly Parton, and Wyclef. For TV, Holmes created, wrote and scored hit AMC series "Remember WENN." Holmes's novels include critically-acclaimed mysteries Where the Truth Lies and Swing, and his short stories have been anthologized in prestigious collections such as Best American Mystery Stories.
Foothill Music Theatre has won Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Ensemble Production, and Best Direction, among others. The company has also garnered numerous awards from the Los Angeles-based Drama-Logue, and kudos from myriad Bay Area critics for its sharp, handsomely mounted productions of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Bullets Over Broadway The Musical, The Sound of Music, 9 to 5 The Musical, Shrek The Musical, Side Show, She Loves Me, South Pacific, Little Shop of Horrors, Damn Yankees, Spring Awakening, The Producers, Bat Boy: The Musical, The Pajama Game, Sweeney Todd, and many other musicals.
Photo Credit: David Allen