The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Now playing at The Heights Players in Brooklyn: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the hilarious, rollicking, Tony Award–winning, musical mystery whodunit where every night the audience chooses the ending!
Though The Heights Players, Brooklyn’s longest-running sustaining theater, returned in 2021 with virtual and then in-person productions, this marks the theater’s first full stage musical since the pandemic shutdown – a show two years in the making.
“We were just one week into rehearsals in March 2020 when the pandemic reached its peak. We canceled rehearsal on a Thursday, thinking we’d be back in a couple of weeks – but we all know what happened next,” recounts director Hilary Goldman. About half of the original ensemble returned and the remaining roles were recast this past March. Now through May 22nd, audiences can catch the wildly talented 26-member cast in full high-action hilarity – a spectacle that was well worth the wait.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood, set in 1800s Victorian England, finds a troupe of thespians known as the Music Hall Royale as they perform – in melodramatic absurdity – a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ final yet unfinished novel. The show-within-a-show plays on (mostly) as planned until it reaches a critical juncture: the end of the story as written due to Dickens’ real-life demise. How will the play proceed? That’s for the audience to decide. Every night, audience members vote on key questions to bring about the show’s conclusion, including the crucial “Who killed Edwin Drood?” (The production boasts a total of 44 possible endings.)
The Music Hall Royale’s company is led by Chairman/Miss. Wilhemenia Cartwright, played by Martha Sue Allen, and the show’s title character, Edwin Drood/Miss. Alice Nutting, portrayed by Kaylie DeLauri. Playing Drood’s other central characters (read: suspects!) are Michael Salerno (John Jasper/Mr. Clive Paget), Mariela Flor Olivo (Rosa Bud/Miss. Deidre Peregrine), Caity Redfern (The Princess Puffer/Miss. Angela Prysock), Courtney McEvoy Lee (Helena Landless/Miss. Janet Conover), H. Lamont Watson (Neville Landless/Mr. Victor Grinstead), Sylvester Nunnery (The Reverend Crisparkle/Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe), Colin Roth (Bazzard/Mr. Phillip Bax), Michelle Maccarone (Durdles/Miss. Nicole Cricker), and J. Scot Cahoon (Deputy/Mr. Nick Cricker Jr.)
Rounding out the Musical Hall Royale’s engaging and entertaining ensemble are Bridget McNiff, Marie Ingrisano, Eliah James Furlong, James Canal, Jeanne Cascio, Cassaundra Reed, Amanda Briskin-Wallace, Morgan DeTogne, Ashley Lamos, Joshua Lopez, Rachel Hering, Matthew Turkle, Helora Danna, Anna Bencivengo, and Isaiah Michaels.
The production is helmed by Director Hilary Goldman, Music Director Hilarie Spangler, and Choreographer Cara Leggio. Additional creative team members include Stage Manager Felisha Heng, Assistant Director Joe Natalzia, Costume Designer Scotty Wiggins, Set Designer Gary VanderPutten, Lighting Designer Noel MacDuffie, Dialect Coach Mike Walsh, Properties Master Dina Grilli, and Costume Assistants Amanda Enriquez and Hope Kelly.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is playing now through May 22nd at The Heights Players, located in Brooklyn Heights, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets ($25, $23 for seniors) can be purchased at www.heightsplayers.org or by calling the box office at 718-237-2752.