Entertainment :: Music

The Mystery of Edwin Drood - 2012 New Broadway Cast Recording

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Monday Feb 11, 2013
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Rupert Holmes’ musical version of Charles Dickens’ final (and unfinished) work, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," has been revived on Broadway for the first time since it’s initial run in 1985. Holmes (perhaps best known for the classic song, "The Pina Colada Song") wrote the music, lyrics and book to this highly entertaining evening of story and song, brought to us by the fictitious company of London’s Music Hall Royale, in this 2-CD set produced by Hugh Fordin for DRG Records.

The high-powered cast features the legendary Chita Rivera as the opium-dealing Princess Puffer, Will Chase (from "SMASH") as the fiery John Jasper, Gregg Edelman as the Reverend Crisparkle, Betsy Wolfe as the divine Rosa Bud, the object of everyone’s affection, and Stephanie J. Block in the title role (originally created by Betty Buckley). It’s clear that the cast is having a "jolly good" time as the actors putting on Dickens’ tale of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," about a young man from Cloisterham who winds up missing after a series of eyebrow-raising scenes set up his impending doom.

The score is full of rollicking, Music Hall-style songs, including "Both Sides of the Coin," (impeccably delivered at break-neck speed by Chase and Jim Norton), "Two Kinsman," Wolfe’s soaring rendition of "Moonfall," and Rivera’s passionate numbers, "Wages of Sin" and "The Garden Path to Hell." Rivera, who just celebrated her 80th birthday, is a joy to have on record once again, and is perfectly cast to bring the wisdom necessary to play the Princess Puffer.

This recording is more complete than the original Broadway recording. Supposedly, Dickens died mid-writing, so Holmes developed the scenario of allowing the audience to determine several concluding plot points, including the identity of a mysterious detective, the secret lovers, and of course, the murderer of Edwin Drood. For this recording, there contains those musical excepts that appeared to be the most common during the show’s revival engagement, including two identities for the mysterious detective, eight character confessions and three of the lovers’ scenarios.

Put the score on your playback device of choice, and immerse yourself in this evening’s presentation by this fantastic company.

"The Mystery of Edwin Drood - The 2012 New Broadway Cast Recording"
Rupert Holmes / Chita Rivera / Will Chase / Stephanie J. Block
CD and Digital formats
DRG Records

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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