Play the Songs
- There You Are
- A Man Could Go Quite Mad
- Two Kinsmen
- Moonfall Quartet
- The Wages of Sin
- Both Sides of the Coin
- Perfect Strangers
- No Good Can Come from Bad
- Never the Luck
- Off to the Races
- The Name of Love & Moonfall Reprise
- Settling Up the Score
- Don't Quit While You're Ahead
- The Garden Path to Hell
- A Word from Your Chairman
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 in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. 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 playfulness of this play-within-a-play draws the audience toward one of the play’s most talked-about features, which allows the audience to vote on the solution as prelude to the most unusual and hilarious finale!
Music samples provided courtesy of Universal Music and Holmes Line of Music.
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
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.
A Musical by Rupert Holmes
Original Broadway production produced by The New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp, Producer
3 Violins (six players)
2 Cello (three players)
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):
Floor Tom Tom
Hi – Hat
Suspended (Played with Scraper, Sticks, Mallets, Box)
“Choke” & “Crash”
Chimes (Same instrument used by Mallet Player)
Timpani (Same instrument used by Mallet Player)
1 Percussion (Mallet instruments)
Timpani (2 ped drs)
Concert Snare Drum
Concert Bass Drum
Castanets (on Blk)
Piano-Conductor’s Score (2 volumes) sent with rehearsal material.
1 Piano Conductor’s Score (Two Volume Set)
1 Prompt Book
24 Prompt Books for Dialogue Parts
33 Chorus-Vocal Parts
Optional Additional Materials
4 Optional Additional Numbers:
“A Man Could Go Quite Mad”
“Quartet Reprise: Moonfall”
“Setting Up The Score”
(4 female; 7 male)
Mr. William Cartwright — Chairman of the Music Hall Royale; doubles as Mayor Thomas Sapsea
John Jasper — doubles as Mr. Clive Paget
Neville Landless — doubles as Mr. Victor Grinstead
Reverend Chrisparkle — doubles as Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe
Bazzard — doubles as Mr. Phillip Bax and as Waiter
Durdles — doubles as Mr.Nick Cricker
Deputy — doubles as Master Nick Cricker
Rosa Bud — doubles as Miss Deirdre Peregrine
Edwin Drood — doubles as Miss Alice Nutting
Helena Landless — doubles as Miss Janet Conover
Princess Puffer — doubles as Miss Angela Prysock
Wendy — non-speaking; doubles as Miss Isabel Yearsley
Beatrice — non-speaking; doubles as Miss Florence Gill
Flo — doubles as Miss Florence Gill
Shade of Drood — dancer; doubles as Mr. Harry Sayle
Shade of Jasper — dancer; doubles as Mr. Montague Pruitt
Clients of Puffer — dancers; double as Mr.Alan Eliot and Mr. Christopher Lyon
Succubae — dancers; double as Gwendolen Pynn, Sarah Cook, Florence Gill and Isabel Yearsley
Satyr — dancer; doubles as Master Nick Cricker
Waiter — doubles as Mr. Phillip Bax
Maids — non-speaking; double as Miss Violet Balfour and Miss Gwendolen Pynn
Horace — doubles as Mr. Nicholas Michael
Bazzard — doubles as Mr. Phillip Bax
Dick Datchery — ????????
Citizens of Cloisterham:
Miss Violet Balfour
Mr. Phillip Bax
Miss Sarah Cook
Mr. Alan Eliot
Miss Florence Gill
Mr. Christopher Lyon
Mr. Medford Moss
Mr. Nicholas Michael
Mr. Montague Pruitt
Miss Gwendolen Pynn
Mr. Harry Sayle
Mr. James Throttle
Miss Isabel Yearsley
The original Broadway production had a cast of 23 performers, including chorus. Doubling was employed as indicated above.
After its inception as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival, headed by Joseph Papp of the Public Theatre, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD moved to Broadway and played for a total of 608 performances at the Imperial Theatre starring Betty Buckley, Cleo Laine and George Rose. It was mounted in London’s West End. THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD was revived on Broadway in 2012, when it played for 136 performances at Studio 54 starring Chita Rivera, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman and Jim Norton, and with Stephanie J. Block in the title role.
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
The Drama Desk Award for Sound Design
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Felix Bloch Erben BERLIN 04/14/2014 04/13/2017 Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre ANNAPOLIS, MD 05/28/2015 06/20/2015 The Playhouse San Antonio SAN ANTONIO, TX 05/29/2015 06/21/2015 Theatre 29 TWENTY-NINE PALMS, CA 05/29/2015 06/27/2015 Theatergroep NEST 06/10/2015 06/13/2015 Lakewood Playhouse LAKEWOOD, WA 06/12/2015 07/12/2015 Sol Children Theatre Troupe BOCA RATON, FL 06/12/2015 06/28/2015 Utah State University LOGAN, UT 06/24/2015 08/01/2015 Davis Shakespeare Ensemble DAVIS, CA 06/26/2015 08/02/2015 Arizona Theatre Company TUCSON, AZ 07/24/2015 07/24/2015 New London Barn Playhouse, Inc. NEW LONDON, NH 08/12/2015 08/23/2015 Federation University BALLARAT 10/01/2015 10/07/2015 Town Hall Theatre Co. LAFAYETTE, CA 10/01/2015 10/24/2015 Spotlight Theatrical Company BENOWA 10/21/2015 11/14/2015 Lawrenceville School LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ 10/22/2015 10/23/2015 Town Players Of New Canaan NEW CANAAN, CT 10/23/2015 11/07/2015 Front Row Centre Players Society CALGARY, AB 11/06/2015 11/21/2015 Genesee Community College BATAVIA, NY 11/12/2015 11/15/2015 Western Michigan University KALAMAZOO, MI 11/13/2015 11/22/2015 Midland Center for the Arts MIDLAND, MI 04/09/2016 04/23/2016 Francis Wilson Playhouse CLEARWATER, FL 05/05/2016 05/22/2016 Wheaton Drama, Inc. WHEATON, IL 05/20/2016 06/12/2016 Super Summer Theatre LAS VEGAS, NV 09/08/2016 09/24/2016