‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ is a musical ready to be solved

Allyson Nichols

It’s time to solve a murder. The production, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,”  is playing from Feb. 23 to March 3 in the E. Turner Stump Theatre and is the first Broadway musical to have alternate endings.

When walking into the theatre, Victorian-era characters can be seen chatting with audience members, prompting them to boo and cheer during the play.

The audience is very involved in the performance including getting to vote on how the play ends, making it the first of its kind.

Dylan Berkshire, a sophomore theatre studies major, thinks the play’s unique interaction makes the play fun to participate in.

“With this show being very interactive, it becomes a lot more fun as a performer when having an audience,”Berkshire said.

Mikaela Ray, a senior theatre studies major, looks forward to the audience’s reactions.

“There’s nothing quite like hearing the audience laugh or applaud for the first time after working on a show for months,” Ray said. “It’s the last piece of the puzzle.”

Charles Dickens had been working on “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” at the time of his death. Although it isn’t known what Dickens had truly intended for the ending of the story, playwright Rupert Holmes thought the novel would be great as a musical with alternate endings.

“No one knows for sure what Charles Dickens had in mind for the end of the novel,” Ray said, “so, Rupert Holmes decided to have the audience vote.”

More than 200 endings have been suggested for the story through movies, plays and novels. The musical is Tony award-winning and has been performed on Broadway and across the country.

Allyson Nichols covers music, theatre and dance. She can be contacted at [email protected].