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The Mystery of Edwin Drood (musical)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (musical)

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Encyclopedia
Drood is a musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 based on the unfinished Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final novel by Charles Dickens. The novel was left unfinished at the time of Dickens' death, and his intended ending for it remains unknown. Though the novel is named after the character Edwin Drood, the story focuses on Drood's uncle, choirmaster John Jasper, who...

. It is written by Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes is an American-British composer, singer-songwriter, musician and author of plays, novels and stories. He is best known for his number one pop hit "Escape " and the song "Him", which reached the number 6 position on the Hot 100 U.S. pop chart in 1980...

, and was the first Broadway musical with multiple endings (determined by audience vote). Holmes received Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score. The musical won five Tony Awards out of eleven nominations, including Best Musical.

The musical first debuted as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival
New York Shakespeare Festival
New York Shakespeare Festival is the previous name of the New York City theatrical producing organization now known as the Public Theater. The Festival produced shows at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of its free Shakespeare in the Park series, at the Public Theatre near Astor Place...

 in August 1985, and, following revision, transferred to Broadway, where it ran until May 1987. Two national tours and a production in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's West End
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

 followed. Though the show has yet to have a Broadway revival, it continues to be popular with regional, amateur, and student theater companies and has seen numerous foreign productions.

Inspiration


The musical Drood is derived from three major inspirations: Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

's final (and unfinished) novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final novel by Charles Dickens. The novel was left unfinished at the time of Dickens' death, and his intended ending for it remains unknown. Though the novel is named after the character Edwin Drood, the story focuses on Drood's uncle, choirmaster John Jasper, who...

, and the British pantomime
Pantomime
Pantomime — not to be confused with a mime artist, a theatrical performer of mime—is a musical-comedy theatrical production traditionally found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta, and is mostly performed during the...

 and music hall
Music hall
Music Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment which was popular between 1850 and 1960. The term can refer to:# A particular form of variety entertainment involving a mixture of popular song, comedy and speciality acts...

 traditions that reached the height of their popularity in the years following Dickens's death.

Dickens's Mystery began publication in 1870. The book, which had been written and published in episodic installments (as had most of Dickens's other novels) was left unfinished upon Dickens's sudden death from a stroke
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 that year. The lack of resolution to the mystery (and the absence of notes that would indicate Dickens's intentions) have made The Mystery of Edwin Drood a literary curiosity. Almost immediately after the publication of Dickens's last episode, various authors and playwrights (including Dickens's own son) attempted to resolve the story with their own endings: by the time of the Drood musical's production, there had been several "collaborations" between the late Dickens and other novelists, numerous theatrical extrapolations of the material, and three film adaptations of the story.

Contemporaneous with Dickens's writing, British pantomime styles — distinguished by the importance of audience participation and conventions like the principal boy
Principal boy
In pantomime, a principal boy role is the young male protagonist of the play, traditionally played by a young actress in boy's clothes.The tradition grew out of laws restricting the use of child actors in London theatre, and the responsibility carried by such lead roles...

 — reached their height of popularity, just as music hall performance with its attributes of raucous, risque comedy and a distinctive style of music began to achieve prominence.

Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes is an American-British composer, singer-songwriter, musician and author of plays, novels and stories. He is best known for his number one pop hit "Escape " and the song "Him", which reached the number 6 position on the Hot 100 U.S. pop chart in 1980...

, who would go on to be the major creative contributor to the musical Drood, spent his early childhood in England. At age three, he would experience theater for the first time when he was taken to a modern "panto", complete with cross-dressing lead boy and audience sing-alongs. Some years later, as an 11-year-old boy fascinated by mystery books, Holmes first discovered the unfinished Dickens novel. Both of those seminal experiences would go on to have a major impact on Holmes when he was first approached to write a new musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 by impresario Joseph Papp
Joseph Papp
Joseph Papp was an American theatrical producer and director. Papp established The Public Theater in what had been the Astor Library Building in downtown New York . "The Public," as it is known, has many small theatres within it...

.

Concept


Holmes, a well-known popular songwriter whose songs had been performed by the likes of Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
Barbra Joan Streisand is an American singer, actress, film producer and director. She has won two Academy Awards, eight Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Peabody Award, and is one of the few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy,...

, and who had himself recorded the #1
Hot 100 number-one hits of 1979 (USA)
These are the Billboard Hot 100 number one hits of 1979.-See also:*1979 in music*List of Cash Box Top 100 number-one singles of 1979...

 hit "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" in 1979, first became interested in writing a musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 in 1983. Following a nightclub appearance during which Holmes performed some of his "story-songs" while sharing humorous anecdotes, Holmes received a note from Gail Merrifield, director of play development at the New York Shakespeare Festival
New York Shakespeare Festival
New York Shakespeare Festival is the previous name of the New York City theatrical producing organization now known as the Public Theater. The Festival produced shows at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of its free Shakespeare in the Park series, at the Public Theatre near Astor Place...

 (and wife of Joseph Papp
Joseph Papp
Joseph Papp was an American theatrical producer and director. Papp established The Public Theater in what had been the Astor Library Building in downtown New York . "The Public," as it is known, has many small theatres within it...

, the creator and head of the Festival), who had seen Holmes's performance and suggested that he write a full-length musical.

Drawing on his recollections of pantomime
Pantomime
Pantomime — not to be confused with a mime artist, a theatrical performer of mime—is a musical-comedy theatrical production traditionally found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta, and is mostly performed during the...

 and Dickens's
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 novel, as well as later experiences with Victorian-style music hall
Music hall
Music Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment which was popular between 1850 and 1960. The term can refer to:# A particular form of variety entertainment involving a mixture of popular song, comedy and speciality acts...

 performance, Holmes conceived the central premises of the show. From the Dickens work, Holmes took the central plot and most of the featured characters. From music hall traditions, he created the lead character of "The Chairman", a sort of Master of Ceremonies and instigator of the action on stage. And from pantomime he retained the concept of the "Lead Boy" (always portrayed by a young female in male drag) and the most ground-breaking aspect of Drood, audience participation.

Drood is unusual in part because of Holmes's feat of writing the book, music, lyrics, and full orchestrations for the show. Though Holmes believed no Broadway creator had done this before, and despite frequent mentions of this feat in articles and reviews of the show, the practice was not entirely uncommon in the early days of musical theater. Songwriters including Adolf Philipp, were previously credited with the books to their musicals. However, none of these composer/librettists had written their own orchestrations as well.

In writing the book, Holmes did not let Dickens overshadow his own intentions. Rather than imitate Dickens's writing style, which he felt would be too bleak for the kind of show he wished to write, Holmes employed the device of a "show-within-a-show." The cast members of Drood do not specifically play Dickens's characters, but rather music hall performers who are performing as Dickens's characters. This device allowed for a great deal of light comedy that was not originally found in Dickens's novel to be incorporated into the show, as well as several musical numbers that were unrelated to the original story. In explaining this decision, Holmes was quoted as saying, "This is not Nicholas Nickleby set to music--it's not a Dickensian work. It's light and fun and entertaining. But I hope--I think--that Dickens would have enjoyed it." Holmes has also pointed out that "It has the same relationship to Dickens that Kiss Me Kate does to The Taming of the Shrew." The pantomime concept also allowed Holmes to employ a female in the lead male role, which further allowed him to write a love song designed to be sung by two sopranos.

Most inventively, Holmes employed a novel method of determining the outcome of the play: having the audience vote for an ending. At a break in the show, the audience votes on who killed Drood (if, indeed, he was killed at all), the identity of the mysterious Dick Datchery, and on which two characters will become romantically involved in the end, creating a happy ending
Happy ending
A happy ending is an ending of the plot of a work of fiction in which almost everything turns out for the best for the protagonists, their sidekicks, and almost everyone except the villains....

. Since every audience differs in temperament, the outcome is theoretically unpredictable even to the actors, who must quickly tally the votes and commence with the chosen ending (although some smaller companies will "fix" the results to limit the number of possible endings). This device required extra work from Holmes, who had to write numerous short endings which covered every possible voting outcome.

Novel/musical differences


There are several differences between the musical and the novel. The tone of Dickens's original book was somewhat bleak (as was Dickens's style), whereas the show is considerably more lighthearted and played for comedy. The most notable difference in characterization involves Jasper: though Dickens's character is undoubtedly repressed and troubled, he is not depicted with the full-fledged split personality
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis and describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities , each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment....

 that he appears to have in the musical. Several minor characters are omitted, and the roles of others are expanded. In the musical, Bazzard is Crisparkle's assistant, whereas in the novel he is employed by Rosa's guardian, Mr. Grewgious. Meanwhile, in order to increase the interactivity of the play and introduce doubt as to whom the murderer is, the musical omits several of the novel's clues that Jasper is the killer and introduces clues which do not appear in the novel pointing at other suspects.

Act I


At London's Music Hall Royale, preparations are underway for the premiere performance of the resident troupe's version of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." Members of the troupe (who venture out into the seats) explain to audience members the historical details of Dickens's untimely demise, as well as the role the audience will play in determining the outcome. From various locations in the theater, the cast members perform the opening number, "There You Are." The Chairman, a kind of Master of Ceremonies, informs attendees that this is going to be an unusual production, and invites all to be as "vulgar and uncivilized as legally possible." With this announcement, the play-within-the-play gets underway.

The first Dickens character introduced is the choirmaster John Jasper, a "respectable" member of society who shares with the audience the fact that he actually suffers from inner torment ("A Man Could Go Quite Mad"). Next to be introduced is Jasper's nephew, Edwin Drood (whom the Chairman reveals is being played by the famous male impersonator, Miss Alice Nutting), who discusses his impending arranged marriage with Rosa Bud, as well as his plans to leave for Egypt after the wedding ("Two Kinsmen").

Drood's fiancee, Rosa Budd, is then introduced at the "Nun's House" (a ladies' seminary). It is her birthday, and Jasper, her music tutor, has composed a song for Rosa ("Moonfall") which he insists on hearing her sing. During the encore, two orphans from Ceylon, Neville and Helena Landless, enter with the Reverend Crisparkle. After Rosa faints from the lustful lyrics of Jasper's song, Helena comes to her aid ("Moonfall Quartet") while Neville displays an attraction to Rosa. Next to introduce herself is Princess Puffer, the madame of an opium den ("The Wages of Sin"). We see that respectable Jasper is himself a customer of the den, and, as he dreams of Drood and Rosa, Puffer reacts when she hears Rosa's name.

The following day, Rev. Crisparkle introduces Edwin and the Landless twins. When Drood shares his plan to pave a desert highway with stones from the Egyptian pyramids, he offends his new rival Neville and his sister: the three then proceed to argue ("Ceylon"). When Jasper enters with Mayor Sapsea, he points out to the mayor that everything is not always what it seems ("Both Sides of the Coin").

Jasper sneaks around the cemetery, where he obtains a key to one of the tombs. Afterwards, Edwin and Rosa reveal that they both have strong misgivings about their upcoming nuptials ("Perfect Strangers"), and decide to break off their wedding plans, but not to tell anyone until after the Christmas holiday. At Jasper's home, the major players join together to celebrate Christmas dinner, but all is not jolly as the rivalries and dark motivations of all are revealed ("No Good Can Come From Bad"). Edwin and Neville head out to the river as the others depart, and Jasper offers his topcoat to Edwin.

The following day Edwin has disappeared, and Crisparkle's assistant Bazzard has found Jasper's coat torn and bloodied. Drood is presumed murdered, and Neville is the chief suspect. Bazzard takes a moment to lament his own failures ("Never the Luck"), but remains optimistic. Though Neville is captured, he is soon released. Meanwhile, Jasper admits to Rosa that he is in love with her. An angry Rosa turns on Jasper ("The Name of Love"), which leads into a reprise of "Moonfall".

Act II


Six months later, Edwin Drood is still missing and Princess Puffer and a stranger, Dick Datchery, arrive to investigate the mystery of Edwin's disappearance ("Settling Up The Score"). At this moment, the Chairman returns with Deputy and Durdles to remind the audience to pay attention to the clues ("Off to the Races").

While looking for Jasper, Puffer meets Rosa Budd and, joined by the rest of the cast, tells her not to give up her ambitions ("Don't Quit While You're Ahead"). Abruptly, in the middle of the song, all stops: this is as far as Dickens got before he died. It is now time for the audience to decide how the story ends. First it must be determined whether Edwin is actually dead or not. It turns out that Alice Nutting, female impersonator, has been wearing the Datchery costume in order to fulfill her contract to appear in two acts of the play—but are Datchery and Drood one and the same? The cast votes unanimously that Drood is, indeed, dead. Alice, before being sent off, angrily tells the cast that they were all jealous of her, and that that is the only reason why she is being dismissed. After her exit, the Chairman reveals the truth: Alice was a pain, but now it remains to be determined who Datchery truly is. The audience votes for a new Datchery by applause (anyone who has already appeared in scenes with him is ruled out), and the actor chosen goes to make a costume change for the finale.

Next to be determined is the murderer. The Chairman runs down the list of possible murderers and their motives for the crime. The audience is asked to vote by "districts" for the killer, and while the votes are tallied a reprise of "Settling Up The Score" leads into the resolution of "The Mystery".

Puffer finds Rosa and reveals that, years before, she had been Rosa's nanny ("The Garden Path To Hell"). She continues with "Puffer's Confession" and reveals the identity of Datchery (previously chosen by the audience.) The evening's Datchery (either Bazzard, Reverend Crisparkle, Helena, Neville, or Rosa) explains why he or she wants to find the killer ("Out On A Limerick") and promptly accuses Jasper of being the murderer. Jasper soon admits that he strangled his nephew while in a laudanum
Laudanum
Laudanum , also known as Tincture of Opium, is an alcoholic herbal preparation containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight ....

 haze ("Jasper's Confession"). Durdles the gravedigger, however, disagrees; he witnessed the crime and knows who truly killed Edwin Drood. Depending on the audience's vote, the finger is pointed at Bazzard, Crisparkle, Helena, Neville, Puffer, Rosa, or himself. The murderer confesses, then sings a reprise of one of several numbers to admit his or her culpability.

Still, a happy ending is needed, and the Chairman asks the audience to choose two lovers from among the remaining cast members. The two chosen members declare their love, and then reprise "Perfect Strangers". Just then, there comes a noise from the crypt, and a very-much-alive Edwin Drood appears, ready to tell all what really happened on the night of his disappearance ("The Writing On The Wall"). The mystery is solved, and the members of the company take their bows ("Don't Quit While You're Ahead" (reprise)).

Murderers


John Jasper- Jasper was madly in love with Rosa Bud, and his violent split personality gladly killed Drood.

Rosa Bud- Meant to kill Jasper in revenge for his lustful advances, but killed Drood by accident as Drood was wearing Jasper's coat.

Neville Landless- Humiliated by Drood, Neville murdered him in order to regain his pride and also to have a chance with Rosa Bud.

Helena Landless- Knowing her brother's hot temper, Helena murdered Drood so Neville would not be tempted to seek revenge.

Princess Puffer- Intended to kill Jasper in order to protect Rosa from his advances, but accidentally killed Drood because he was wearing Jasper's coat.

The Rev. Mr. Crisparkle- After converting to priesthood after the death of Rosa's mother, believed Jasper to be the incarnation of Satan and killed Drood mistakenly, for Drood was wearing Jasper's overcoat.

Bazzard - In an effort to boost his role in the show, murders Drood. This is definitely the most metatheatrical of the endings.

Durdles- After Jasper laid Drood in the crypt, Durdles believed the still-alive Drood to be a ghost and so smashed his head in. (Even Durdles admits the silliness of this motive within his solo, but laments that because he has been chosen he must have one.) This solo was not used in the original Broadway production and was added for the first national tour.

Tams-Witmark version


The version of the play currently licensed by Tams-Witmark differs significantly from the original Broadway version. Holmes made a variety of changes to the score and libretto when "Drood" opened in London in May 1987. These changes would also carry over to the 1988 National Tour with George Rose
George Rose (actor)
\...

 (later Clive Revill
Clive Revill
Clive Selsby Revill is a New Zealand-born British character actor best known for his performances in musical theatre and on the London stage.-Early life and stage career:...

) and Jean Stapleton. 'A Man Could Go Quite Mad' was dropped from both the 1987 London production (with David Burt as Jasper) and the 1988 National Tour (with Mark Jacoby as Jasper). Many scenes were reordered, while the score's orchestrations and vocal arrangements also underwent minor changes. The materials Tams-Witmark now licenses are essentially a composite of the London production and the national tour.
  • The numbers "A Man Could Go Quite Mad," "Ceylon," "Settling Up the Score," and the quartet reprise of "Moonfall" are not standard but optionally may be performed.
  • 'A Private Investigation' replaced 'Settling Up the Score'.
  • 'Off to the Races' swapped places with 'The Name of Love/Moonfall (Reprise)' and became the Act One finale.
  • 'Ceylon' was dropped and 'A British Subject' was put in its place while 'England Reigns' became the new Act Two opening.

With the exception of 'A Private Investigation', none of the added numbers were actually new. 'A British Subject' and 'England Reigns' had been in the show during the first staged reading in 1985 ('England Reigns' was known then as 'There'll be England Again' and served to open the show).

Characters


As Drood is metatheatrical
Metatheatre
The term "metatheatre", coined by Lionel Abel, has entered into common critical usage; however, there is still much uncertainty over its proper definition and what dramatic techniques might be included in its scope...

, the characters of the play The Mystery of Edwin Drood are played by "actors of the Theatre Royale", within the production. The following are the dual (or triple) roles each cast member plays:
  • Mayor Sapsea: Chairman William Cartwright (who takes over the role at short notice)
  • Edwin Drood/the first Datchery: Miss Alice Nutting
  • Rosa Bud: Miss Deirdre Peregrine
  • John Jasper: Mr. Clive Paget
  • The Princess Puffer: Miss Angela Prysock
  • The Rev. Crisparkle: Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe
  • Neville Landless: Mr. Victor Grinstead
  • Helena Landless: Miss Janet Conover
  • Bazzard/The Waiter (in "No Good Can Come From Bad"): Mr. Philip Bax
  • Durdles: Mr. Nick Cricker
  • Deputy: Master Nick Cricker
  • Horace: Mr. Nicholas Michael

Musical numbers


Act I
  • There You Are (Chairman, Angela, Deirdre, Alice, Clive, Company)
  • A Man Could Go Quite Mad (Jasper)
  • Two Kinsmen (Jasper and Drood)
  • Moonfall (Rosa)
  • Moonfall Quartet (Rosa, Helena, Alice and Beatrice)
  • The Wages of Sin (Puffer)
  • Jasper's Vision (dream ballet) *
  • Ceylon (Drood, Rosa, Helena, Neville, Company)
  • Both Sides of the Coin (Sapsea and Jasper)
  • Perfect Strangers (Rosa and Drood)
  • No Good Can Come From Bad (Jasper, Rosa, Drood, Neville, Helena, Crisparkle, Waiter)
  • Never the Luck (Bax/Bazzard, Company)
  • The Name of Love/Moonfall (Jasper, Rosa, Company)


Act II
  • Settling Up the Score (Puffer, Datchery, Company)
  • Off to the Races (Sapsea, Durdles, Deputy, Company)
  • Don't Quit While You're Ahead (Puffer, Datchery, Company)
  • Don't Quit While You're Ahead (Reprise) * (Company)
  • Settling Up the Score (Reprise) (Chairman, Suspects, Company) *
  • The Garden Path to Hell (Puffer)
  • Puffer's Revelation (Puffer) *
  • Out on a Limerick (Datcherys) This song is performed by a different actor each night, depending upon audience vote.
  • Jasper's Confession (Jasper)
  • Murderer's Confession This song is performed by a different actor each night, depending upon audience vote, or alternately, not performed at all if the audience has voted for Jasper.
  • Perfect Strangers (reprise) This song is performed by a different pair of actors every night, depending upon audience vote. *
  • The Writing on the Wall (Drood, Company)


* Not included on the original cast recording

The version of Drood that Tams-Witmark licenses to theater companies does not include "A Man Could Go Quite Mad," "Ceylon," "Settling Up the Score," or the quartet reprise of "Moonfall," though they are provided as "additional material" and theaters can choose whether or not to use those songs in their productions. Offered instead of "Ceylon" is "A British Subject," and instead of "Settling Up the Score" is "A Private Investigation."

Recordings



In 1985, a recording was made of The Mystery of Edwin Drood featuring the original Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 cast. This recording was released by Polydor with the additional subtitle, The Solve-It-Yourself Broadway Musical (Polydor 827969) and the CD included versions of "Out on a Limerick" by all five possible Datcherys (Rosa, Crisparkle, Bazzard, Neville, and Helena) and all six possible Murderer's Confessions (Puffer, Rosa, Bazzard, Crisparkle, Neville, and Helena), as well as an "instructional track" entitled "A Word From Your Chairman...." The LP and cassette included only the opening-night Confession and murderer, and omitted the "lovers." A 1990 re-issue of the cast album by Varèse Sarabande
Varèse Sarabande
Varèse Sarabande is an American record label, distributed by Universal Music Group, which specializes in film scores and original cast recordings. It aims to reissue rare or unavailable albums as well as newer releases by artists no longer under a contract...

 (Varèse 5597) included two tracks, "Ceylon" and "Moonfall Quartet", that are on the original LP and cassette, but not on the CD. It included only Bazzard's version of "Out on a Limerick" and two Murderer Confessions (Rosa's and Puffer's). The Polydor recording was briefly available on cassette and LP, and ultimately re-released by Varèse Sarabande. Both versions of the cast album are currently out of print, but can sometimes be found (often at a high price) through secondhand vendors or online auction sites.

An Australian cast album (GEP Records 9401) was released in 1994. This recording did not include "Ceylon" or "Moonfall Quartet", but did include three previously unrecorded tracks: "A British Subject", "Puffer's Revelation", and "Durdles' Confession". It should be noted that the Australian cast album was performed by a largely non-professional cast and used (arguably crude) midi sequencing in lieu of a live orchestra. Two songs that were omitted from Drood before it reached Broadway, "An English Music Hall" and "Evensong," were later recorded for the 1994 album, Lost In Boston. Other songs that never made into the Broadway or London/'88 Tour (Tams-Witmark) versions include: "When the Wicked Man Comes" (sung by a much younger Deputy), "Sapsea's Song" (a music hall ditty for Mayor Sapsea), "I Wouldn't Say No" (a song and dance routine for Durdles) as well as "When Shall These Three Meet Again" - a group number which can be heard as underscoring throughout the show and in the murderer's confession: "But the night was far from bright...")

Productions


After Rupert Holmes wrote an initial draft that lasted three-and-a-half hours, and performed it, solo, for Joseph Papp, Gail Merrifield, and Wilford Leach, (the New York Shakespeare Festival's artistic director), Papp offered to produce the show as part of the Festival (also known as "Shakespeare in the Park"), and told Holmes that it would be immediately transferred to Broadway if it was deemed a success. The original production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood premiered in New York City's
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

 at the Delacorte Theatre on August 21, 1985 after only three weeks of rehearsals. Notably, Holmes conceived most of the orchestrations himself, a rarity for a Broadway composer.

After the final Festival performance on September 1, preparations for the Broadway transfer (retaining the original cast) immediately got underway. Following a great deal of editing (the Delacorte version contained 32 original songs and was nearly three hours long) The Mystery of Edwin Drood opened on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 at the Imperial Theatre on December 2, 1985. Roughly halfway through the run, the title of the musical was officially shortened to Drood (the name it continues to be licensed under). The show ran for 608 performances (not including 24 previews), and closed on May 16, 1987. The Broadway production was produced by Papp and directed by Leach, with choreography by Graciela Daniele
Graciela Daniele
Graciela Daniele is an Argentine-American dancer, choreographer, and theatre director.-Biography:Born at Buenos Aires, Daniele began her dance training at the age of seven at Teatro Colón, Argentina's equivalent of Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre...

.

The opening night cast of the Broadway production starred George Rose
George Rose (actor)
\...

, Cleo Laine
Cleo Laine
Dame Cleo Laine, Lady Dankworth, DBE is a jazz singer and an actress, noted for her scat singing and vocal range...

, John Herrera, Howard McGillin
Howard McGillin
Howard McGillin is a Tony-nominated stage, screen and television actor, perhaps best-known for being the world's longest running Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera....

, Patti Cohenour
Patti Cohenour
Patti Cohenour is an American actress and singer. She was most recently seen in the Broadway production of The Light in the Piazza as Signora Naccarelli...

, and Jana Schneider, who were all nominated for 1986 Tony Awards for their performances, as well as Betty Buckley
Betty Buckley
Betty Lynn Buckley is an American theater, film and television actress and singer. She is a Tony Award winner and Grammy Award nominee.-Early life:...

 in the title role. Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy is an American stage, film, television actress and singer.Murphy has won two Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her roles in Passion as Fosca and in The King and I as Anna Leonowens...

, Judy Kuhn
Judy Kuhn
-Life and career:Kuhn was born in New York City and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. She attended Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.She entered Oberlin College in 1976. Although she was very interested in singing and theater, she began Oberlin in the College, not the Conservatory. After taking...

, and Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall is an American theater director, film director and choreographer. He is a six-time Tony Award nominee, Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe nominee and four-time Emmy winner whose most noted work is the 2002 Academy Award for Best Picture winner Chicago.-Life and career:Marshall was...

 were also members of the ensemble. (Marshall, who would later become best known as a choreographer and theater/film director, also received an early choreography credit as assistant to Daniele.) Before the show ended its run, Murphy, who was understudy to Cleo Laine and Jana Schneider, took over the title role. Other notable replacements during the show's run included Alison Fraser
Alison Fraser
Alison Fraser is an American actress and singer who has appeared in concert at such venues as Carnegie Hall, The White House, Town Hall, The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Tisch Center for the Arts, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The Wilma, The Emelin, Joe's Pub and Symphony space.Fraser is a two...

 (taking over for Jana Schneider), Paige O'Hara
Paige O'Hara
Donna Paige O'Hara is an American Broadway singer, actress, and Disney Legend best known for her voicework as Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.-Personal life:...

 (taking over for Donna Murphy as Drood), as well as Loretta Swit
Loretta Swit
Loretta Swit is an American stage and television actress known for her character roles. Swit is best-known for her portrayal of Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M*A*S*H.-Early life:...

 and later Karen Morrow
Karen Morrow
Karen Morrow is an American singer – actress best known for her work in musical theater. Her honors include an Emmy Award and a Theatre World Award, and an Ovation Award and five Drama-Logue Award nominations....

, who stepped into Laine's roles.

In 1988, several months after closing on Broadway, a slightly-revised version of Drood began its first North America tour at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC, with Rose, Schneider and O'Hara reprising their leads, and Jean Stapleton playing Laine's role. During the tour, Rose was succeeded by Clive Revill
Clive Revill
Clive Selsby Revill is a New Zealand-born British character actor best known for his performances in musical theatre and on the London stage.-Early life and stage career:...

. The show, now licensed by Tams-Witmark, has since has enjoyed a second U.S. national tour, a 1987 West End
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

 run at the Savoy Theatre
Savoy Theatre
The Savoy Theatre is a West End theatre located in the Strand in the City of Westminster, London, England. The theatre opened on 10 October 1881 and was built by Richard D'Oyly Carte on the site of the old Savoy Palace as a showcase for the popular series of comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan,...

 in London, a production at the Shaw Festival
Shaw Festival
The Shaw Festival is a major Canadian theatre festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, the second largest repertory theatre company in North America...

 in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a Canadian town located in Southern Ontario where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario in the Niagara Region of the southern part of the province of Ontario. It is located across the Niagara river from Youngstown, New York, USA...

, Ontario, Canada; and numerous regional and professional and amateur theatrical productions worldwide. In 2007–08, a London revival, presented as a chamber piece and directed by Ted Craig
Ted Craig
Ted Craig FRSA is an Australian-born theatre director who is best known as the artistic director of the Warehouse Theatre, South London, England.Craig was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia...

, ran at the Warehouse Theatre
Warehouse Theatre
The Warehouse Theatre is a professional producing theatre with one hundred seats in the centre of the London Borough of Croydon, south London, England based in an oak-beamed former cement Victorian warehouse...

.

Most recently, in the summer of 2009, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival put on a production of Drood, starring resident actors Aled Davies as The Chairman, Lynn Allison as Princess Puffer, and Sara M. Bruner in the title role.

Tony Awards


Awards
  • Tony Award for Best Musical
    Tony Award for Best Musical
    This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Musical, first awarded in 1949. This award is presented to the producers of the musical.-1940s:* 1949: Kiss Me, Kate – Music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Samuel and Bella Spewack...

     - Joseph Papp
    Joseph Papp
    Joseph Papp was an American theatrical producer and director. Papp established The Public Theater in what had been the Astor Library Building in downtown New York . "The Public," as it is known, has many small theatres within it...

    , producer
  • Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
    Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
    The Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical is awarded to librettists of the spoken, non-sung dialogue, and storyline of a musical play. Eligibility is restricted to works with original narrative framework; plotless revues and revivals are ineligible...

     - Rupert Holmes
    Rupert Holmes
    Rupert Holmes is an American-British composer, singer-songwriter, musician and author of plays, novels and stories. He is best known for his number one pop hit "Escape " and the song "Him", which reached the number 6 position on the Hot 100 U.S. pop chart in 1980...

  • Tony Award for Best Original Score
    Tony Award for Best Original Score
    The Tony Award for Best Original Score is the Tony Award given to the composers and lyricists of the best original score written for a musical in that year. The score consists of music and lyrics...

     - Rupert Holmes, music and lyrics
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical
    Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical
    This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Prior to 1960, category for direction included plays and musicals.-1950s:Note: this category was for both dramatic and musical productions...

     - Wilford Leach
    Wilford Leach
    Carson Wilford Leach was an American theatre director, set designer, film director, screenwriter, and college professor.-Biography:...

  • Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
    Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
    The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical is awarded to the actor who was voted as the best actor in a musical play, whether a new production or a revival...

     - George Rose
    George Rose (actor)
    \...

    , as "Mayor Thomas Sapsea / Mr. William Cartwright, Your Chairman"


Nominations
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical - Cleo Laine
    Cleo Laine
    Dame Cleo Laine, Lady Dankworth, DBE is a jazz singer and an actress, noted for her scat singing and vocal range...

    , as "Princess Puffer / Miss Angela Prysock"
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
    Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
    This is a list of the winners and nominations of the Tony Award for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. The award, introduced in 1950, was previously named as Best Performance by a Featured or Supporting Actress in a Musical until 1976....

     - Patti Cohenour
    Patti Cohenour
    Patti Cohenour is an American actress and singer. She was most recently seen in the Broadway production of The Light in the Piazza as Signora Naccarelli...

    , as "Rosa Bud / Miss Deirdre Peregrine"
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
    Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
    This is a list of the winners and nominations of the Tony Award for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. The award, introduced in 1950, was previously named as Best Performance by a Featured or Supporting Actress in a Musical until 1976....

     - Jana Schneider
    Jana Schneider
    Janet Ann Schneider is an American actress and photojournalist.Jana studied at the University of Wisconsin...

    , as "Helena Landless / Miss Janet Conover"
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
    Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
    This is a list of the winners and nominations of Tony Award for the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. The award has been presented since 1947...

     - John Herrera, as "Neville Landless / Mr. Victor Grinstead"
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
    Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
    This is a list of the winners and nominations of Tony Award for the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. The award has been presented since 1947...

     - Howard McGillin
    Howard McGillin
    Howard McGillin is a Tony-nominated stage, screen and television actor, perhaps best-known for being the world's longest running Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera....

    , as "John Jasper / Mr. Clive Paget"
  • Best Choreography
    Tony Award for Best Choreography
    -1940s:* 1947: Agnes de Mille – Brigadoon / Michael Kidd – Finian's Rainbow* 1948: Jerome Robbins – High Button Shoes* 1949: Gower Champion – Lend An Ear-1950s:* 1950: Helen Tamiris – Touch and Go* 1951: Michael Kidd – Guys and Dolls...

     - Graciela Daniele
    Graciela Daniele
    Graciela Daniele is an Argentine-American dancer, choreographer, and theatre director.-Biography:Born at Buenos Aires, Daniele began her dance training at the age of seven at Teatro Colón, Argentina's equivalent of Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre...


Drama Desk


Awards
  • Outstanding Musical - Joseph Papp, producer
  • Outstanding Book of a Musical - Rupert Holmes
  • Outstanding Lyrics - Rupert Holmes
  • Outstanding Music
    Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music
    The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music is an annual award presented by the Drama Desk, a committee comprising New York City theatre critics, writers, and editors...

    - Rupert Holmes
  • Outstanding Director of a Musical - Wilford Leach
  • Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical - George Rose
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical - Jana Schnieder
  • Outstanding Costume Design - Lindsay Davis
  • Outstanding Lighting Design - Paul Gallo
  • Outstanding Orchestrations - Rupert Holmes

Nominations
  • Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical - Howard McGillin
  • Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical - Cleo Laine
  • Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical - Patti Cohenour
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical - Joe Grifasi
  • Outstanding Set Design - Bob Shaw


External links