The Mystery of Edwin Drood (review)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (review)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (review)
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THE PLAY: Based on Dickens’ unfinished novel of the same name, this musical exploration of a murder takes place in a Victorian musical hall.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Since the original story was never completed, this play considers how it might have ended. There’s even an interactive angle, letting the audience vote on the outcome. The production starts with a rousing opening number, featuring a large, rambunctious cast. Most of the singers are strong and the performances are enjoyable. There’s a touch of period style, but the exaggerated reactions from some of the performers elevates the fun (esp. Michael Gray who most effectively showcases the embellished flourishes and Kenneth Putnam who provides the comic highlights). Considering the plot is pretty basic, it’s still not always clear what’s happening. Tom Width’s direction focuses more on the style than story, but he didn’t take the exaggerated approach far enough to create delightful flair. Under the direction of Gabrielle Maes, the band provides solid backing and Alissa Pagnotti’s choreography is adequate. Width designed an attractive musical hall proscenium, bolstered by Joe Doran footlights. Maura Lynch Cravey’s costumes are appropriate (the dark roots under Paige Reisenfeld’s blonde wig should be remedied). Running time: 2:30

 

THE POINT: The exuberant actors make the show fun, but this period parody feels like it’s for those who appreciate theatrical tropes, rather than audiences expecting the easy escape of a traditional musical.

 

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

 

At Swift Creek Mill Theatre thru 12/28

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

 

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