Solve-It-Yourself Musical Mystery Edwin Drood at Vanguard University
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The last date listed for The Mystery of Edwin Drood was Sunday March 6, 2011 / 8:00pm.
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It may be from 429 B.C., but Oedipus Rex is just as relevant today as it was way back then. This modern translation reimagines the world of Oedipus, the newly crowned king of Thebes, who is charged with finding the murderer of his predecessor, King Laius. As Oedipus investigates the past in Sophocles' classic tragedy he discovers dark secrets and learns that no man can control his fate (spoiler alert: his fate involves murdering his father and marrying his mother). Oedipus Rex has been called the perfect Greek tragedy by none other than philosopher Aristotle. However, this contemporary spin promises to be a little different than your great-great-great-grandfather's Oedipus. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Joani Macaroni
view more less of this review
This was a very lively, colorful musical. The lead actors were well cast, with a number of additional support cast and musicians. The choreography was also well executed, especially considering the number of performers and small stage area.
Actors were all dressed in Dicken's era costuming, charming supporting cast came up the stairs and interacted with the audience. The theater seated about 200 despite its relatively small size, with stadium style seating so viewing was not a problem.
The small orchestra was seated on a balcony on one side, with the stage taking about 1/3 of the floor space, placed in one corner of a square room, with three banks of seating areas wrapping around.
The cast did a fantastic job with the British accents, but they were a little hard to understand at times, due to the fast speaking pace.(Not as fast as a Gilbert O'Sullivan musical though). Amazingly, nearly all 17 cast members played dual roles.
There were many funny moments and several special effects. Most of the time the musical moved along quickly, but there were a few slow moments. For the most part, both the acting and the use of the sets were charming.
The story was Dicken's last, and unfinished, so the ending (who was the murderer of Edwin Drood - or was he actually murdered at all?) is voted on by the audience. The evening we attended, the results were quite eyebrow raising, to say the least, but the cast carried it off magnificently.
The main critique of this play is the venue however, due to the tiny lobby and lack of any restrooms (restrooms were several minutes away in other buildings, and not well identified). Intermission was a real, though orderly, scramble, especially considering there was a light rain the evening we attended.
There is an on-going, active renovation project to add restrooms and enlarge the lobby in the future.
Parking was also an issue. To be fair, the theater is on a small college campus and many of the guests probably walk in from the dorms, but for those not familiar with the campus, (as others have noted in prior reviews) allow time to walk in after parking and expect to ask for help in finding the theater.
Despite these drawbacks, the admission price with the Goldstar discount made the performance a real entertainment bargain.
Quotes & Highlights
- Learn about all things <em>Drood </em>at composer/author Rupert Holmes's <a target="_blank" href="http://www.rupertholmes.com/theatre/drood.html">website</a>.
- The Broadway production of <em>The Mystery of Edwin Drood</em> ran for more than 600 performances and won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Rupert Holmes
Directed by Vanda Eggington
When Edwin Drood becomes mysteriously absent after the first act, the audience must don detectives caps while they enjoy the rest of the musical because at the end of the show they will determine the outcome of the story. Every performance has a different ending because the audience votes for who they believe is the culprit.