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A Musical by Rupert Holmes

Original Broadway production produced by The New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp, Producer


This wildly warm-hearted theatrical experience kicks off when the Music Hall Royale (a hilariously loony Victorian musical troupe) "puts on" its flamboyant rendition of an unfinished Dickens mystery. The story itself deals with John Jasper, a Jekyll-and-Hyde choirmaster who is quite madly in love with his music student, the fair Miss Rosa Bud. Now, Miss Bud is, in turn, engaged to Jasper's nephew, young Edwin Drood. Our title character disappears mysteriously one stormy Christmas Eve-but has Edwin Drood been murdered? And if so, then whodunnit? Musical numbers include The Wage of Sin, Perfect Strangers, Both Sides of the Coin, Don't Quit While You're Ahead and Moonfall. The giddy playfullness of this play-within-a-play draws the audience toward one of DROOD'S most talked-about features, which allows the audience to vote on the solution as prelude to the most unusual and hilarious finale!

AWARDS (1985-86)

5 Tony Awards for Musical, Book, Score, Director and Actor
8 Drama Desk Awards for Musical, Music, Book, Orchestration, Director, Costume Design, Actor and Featured Actress
5 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Broadway Musical, Choreography, Costume Design, Set Design and Lighting Design


After its inception as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival, headed by Joseph Papp of the Public Theatre, DROOD moved to Broadway and played for a total of 608 performances at the Imperial Theatre starring BEtty Buckley, Cleo Laine and George Rose. The title of the show was changed from THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD to just DROOD in the middle of the run. Subsequently it was mounted in London's West End.


     Act One opens as the members of the Music Hall Royale circulate among the audience, introducing themselves to the patrons, the Chairman of the proceedings bursts forth with the show's opening number There You Are. They then introduce John Jasper, the "Jekyll and Hyde" choirmaster who greets his young nephew Edwin Drood. Drood is engaged to the fair Miss Rosa Bud, who is Jasper's music pupil and the object of his mad obsession-Moonfall. The kindly Reverend Crisparkle and two exotic emigrants from Ceylon, Helena and Neville Landless, arrive. Neville is immediately attracted to Rosa, which makes him a rival to both Edwin and the secretive Jasper.
     Next we travel to London and the sinister opium den of the Princess Puffer who clowns with the audience, and explains her life in the hilarious and entertaining Wages of Sin. A sinewy ballet dance follows. We discover that one of Puffer's regular clients is none other than Jasper himself, who cries out the name "Rosa Bud" during a hallucination. Puffer shows great interest in this fact, and stores it away in her memory.
     Back in Cloisterham, Neville and Drood meet and come to odds with each other almost immediately. Mayor Sapsea sings of this in the patter song Both Sides of the Coin. We are then introduced to the drunken stone mason Durdles, and his assistant Deputy. In the graveyard, they tell us that Edwin and Rosa have called off their engagement-Perfect Strangers.
     It is Christmas Eve and Jasper has arranged a 'reconciliating' dinner for the Landless twins, Crisparkle, Rosa and Drood-No Good Can Come from Bad. Jasper serves a particularly potent wine to his guests. Soon, the party disbands and the guests depart into a violent storm.
     The next day Drood has vanished. Crisparkle's assistant discovers Edwin's torn coat by the river. Drood was last seen walking there with Neville the night before. The cast summarizes the situation and launches into the rousing Off to the Races.
     Act Two begins six months later, and still there is no sign of Drood. There is much speculation as to his fate. Two sleuths arrive from out of town. One is Princess Puffer, and the other is a detective-in-disguise named Dick Datchery-A Private Investigation. One by one the characters reenter and build to the rousing kick-line number Don't Quit While You're Ahead. The company seems about to reveal the solution to the mystery when...the number and the play stop abruptly. The Chairman reveals that here is where Charles Dickens laid down his pen forever!
     The play is now thrown open to the audience while the Chairman and Company review the various suspects' motives and plot possibilities. In a series of unique voting events, amid much cheering (and booing and hissing of the villains), the audience determines the conclusion of the show.


Full Orchestration (Strings Optional):

3 Violins (six players)
2 Cello (three players)
1 Bass
1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute & Clarinet
1 Reed II: Oboe, English Horn & Clarinet
1 Reed III: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
1 Reed IV: Bassoon
1 Horn I
1 Horn II
1 Trumpet I (Bb Trumpet, Piccolo Trumpet & Flugelhorn)
1 Trumpet II (Bb Trumpet & Flugelhorn)
1 Trombone I (Tenor Trombone)
1 Trombone II (Bass Trombone & Tuba)
1 Keyboard I (Piano)
1 Keyboard II (Synthesizer)
1 Drums: (Trap Set):
  • Snare Drum
  • Bass Drum
  • Tom Tom(s)
  • Roto Toms
  • Floor Tom Tom
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block
  • Cow Bell
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Metal Pipe
  • Police Whistle
  • Wind Chime
  • Gong
  • Cymbals:
  • Piatti (a2)
  • Hi - Hat
  • Suspended (Played with Scraper, Sticks, Mallets, Box)
  • "Ting," "Ride,"
  • "Choke" & "Crash"
Chimes (Same instrument used by Mallet Player)
Timpani (Same instrument used by Mallet Player)
1 Percussion (Mallet instruments)
  • Timpani (2 ped drs)
  • Bells
  • Xylophone
  • Chimes
  • Concert Snare Drum
  • Concert Bass Drum
  • Slap Stick
  • Vibraslap
  • Lead Pipe
  • Ratchet
  • Sandpaper Blocks
  • Castanets (on Blk)
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Wind Machine
  • Money Shaker
  • Gong
  • Bell Tree
  • Triangle
  • Cymbals:
    • Piatti (a2)
    • Suspended,
    • "Crash"
    • Finger
  Piano-Conductor's Score (2 volumes) sent with rehearsal material.


4 Optional Additional Numbers:
A Man Could Go Quite Mad
Quartet Reprise: Moonfall
Setting Up The Score


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