Madcap musical ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ is giddy entertainment

Madcap musical ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ is giddy entertainment

I have evidently been dwelling less than a rock for 44 a long time due to the fact right up until very last weekend I experienced in no way noticed The Thriller of Edwin Drood. The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton is now showing the madcap musical by Rupert Holmes (The “Pina Colada” track man), inspired by Charles Dickens’ remaining unfinished function of the exact name and by Victorian-type tunes corridor general performance.

The display opened on Broadway in 1986 and was revived in 2012, obtaining Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards for both operates. The show was the 1st on Broadway to have a “choose your individual adventure” ending, with a number of possibilities established by votes from the viewers.

Madcap musical ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ is giddy entertainment
The cast of ‘The Thriller of Edwin Drood.’ Photo courtesy of Workhouse Arts Middle.

The forged performs songs corridor actors accomplishing The Secret of Edwin Drood (announced in an prolonged spooky voice, with wavy fingers). This present-within just-the-exhibit is comprehensive of fourth wall breaks and viewers participation, and right before it begins, the characters mill about the stage and interact with the moving into group. The Chairman of the Songs Hall, animatedly performed by Brian Lyons-Burke, kicks off the functionality foremost the ensemble in “There You Are,” welcoming the viewers to the Corridor. 

There are numerous interesting (and suspicious) people but none much more so than John Jasper (Bob Gudauskas), a duplicitous character who is secretly in love with his pupil Rosa Bud (Kaley Harman), the fiancée of his nephew Edwin Drood (Amanda Mason). 

Jasper is a choral grasp by day and opium addict by evening, pretty “Jekyll and Hyde,” singing about his failing grasp on sanity in “A Person Could Go Fairly Mad.” He then immediately returns to quiet with Edwin in “Two Kinsmen” as they boast of their amazing kinship — only times later on to persuade Rosa Bud to reluctantly sing “Moonfall,” a music he has composed that blatantly hints at Jasper’s adore and devotion to her.

But it will get even a lot more complex when the Reverend Crisparkle (Philip Krzywicki) shows up with two newly arrived visitors from abroad, siblings Neville Landless (Shakil Azizi) and Helena Landless (Stephanie Chu Rudden). An apparent curiosity is sparked concerning Neville and Rosa, turning the appreciate triangle into a lot more of a sq. and cueing rivalry amongst Edwin, Jasper, and Neville.

An additional noteworthy character in problem is opium den operator Princess Puffer (Jennifer Pagnard). Pagnard is delightfully and unapologetically crass. She sings about “The Wages of Sin,” reveling in her company of building money off of debauchery and medications.

Meanwhile, Jasper has prepared a vacation meal get together to honor his nephew and extend an olive department to the Landless twins. But unbeknownst to him, Edwin and Rosa have confessed that they are not in adore and intend to conclusion their engagement, which was arranged when they have been extremely youthful. They sing an exquisite duet, “Perfect Strangers,” agreeing to part as friends and preserve their split magic formula so as not to damage the meal. Mason and Harmen’s voices mix wonderfully and, when all of the songs is attractive, this song was my most loved.

The supper celebration does not go easily. The ensemble sings “No Fantastic Can Occur From Lousy,” as there is a secret romance, animosity reinvigorated, popularity challenged, and a violent storm that ultimately breaks up the full social gathering.

The future day, Edwin Drood is nowhere to be identified. His torn coat is learned, accusations are created, and everyone is a suspect — even the unassuming Bazzard (Aaron Talley), who sings the woeful “Never the Luck” and laments that he constantly receives modest roles in the reveals. Bazzard could have murdered Drood to give himself a far more well known part. Jasper or Neville could have murdered him out of jealousy for Rosa. And that is when the viewers is known as on. Voting requires put and the resolution differs centered on how the tallies increase up. 

Scene from ‘The Thriller of Edwin Drood.’ Photograph courtesy of Workhouse Arts Heart.

Even though the story appears far more dark and sinister than a comedy, it is the performances themselves that established the temper. The actors split character for applause. A single actor does not display up and the Chairman has to step up to cover the purpose, only to find out that he is in a scene with himself and has to participate in both roles with conflicting views. One more actor storms off the set in a tizzy. There is a palpable joy in the art by itself and an appreciation of the procedure and expertise expected to pull a show off.

But as lighthearted as the full encounter is, the singing is no joke. Musical Director Paige Rammelkamp has accomplished an amazing occupation with this human body of audio, which with its a lot of layers of harmony and rounds borders on opera at times. And Director Danilo Stapula employs the black box theater to its utmost, producing a relaxed open room permitting for easy stream between scenes.

The clearly show is tunes, secret, comedy, insanity all playfully and passionately molded into two and a 50 percent several hours of giddy leisure. I acquired teary-eyed a couple of times from laughing so hard. And if the solid wasn’t acquiring the time of their lives, then they are the ideal actors in the environment for the reason that the entire vibe of the demonstrate is pure silliness and enjoyment from starting to finish.

There’s no everyday living-learning, assumed-provoking, controversial component. The Secret Of Edwin Drood is unadulterated exciting. The Workhouse Arts Center has made a creation that offers pure sense-very good escapism. Forget about about the environment for a handful of hours to only chuckle and be entertained.

Functioning Time: Roughly two hours and 30 minutes, with a person 15-minute intermission.

The Secret of Edwin Drood runs by January 23, 2022, in Making W-3 (Theatre) of the Workhouse Arts Centre at 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, VA. For tickets ($30), go on the web.

COVID Basic safety: All people attending will be necessary to display proof of COVID vaccination or evidence of a destructive COVID exam in 48 hours of event time, in get to be permitted entry to the location. (A card, printed facsimile, or image on cell gadget will be acceptable). All Workhouse team and carry outers are performing below this same need. Masks are required unless of course eating or consuming. 

Forged and Crew: Shakil Azizi (Neville Landless/Mr. Victor Grinstead), Rob Cork (Stage Supervisor/Mr. Throttle), Kyle Donovan (Deputy/Nick Cricker, Jr.), Bob Gudauskas (John Jasper/Mr. Clive Paget), Kaley Harman (Rosa Bud/Ms. Deidre Peregrine), Ariel Kraje (Wendy/Dance Captain), Philip Krzywicki (Rev. Crisparkle/Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe), Brian Lyons-Burke (Chairman/Mayor Sapsea), Amanda Mason (Edwin Drood/Ms. Alice Nutting), Jennifer Pagnard (Princess Puffer/Ms. Angela Prysock), Dick Reed (Durdles/Nick Cricker, Sr.), Stephanie Chu Rudden (Helena Landless/Ms. Janet Conover), Aaron Talley (Bazzard/Mr. Phillip Bax), Hana Tawil (Helena Landless/Ms. Janet Conover), Kathleen West (Beatrice/Ms. Florence Gill), Brian Bachrach (Lighting Technician) , James Berman (Trumpet), Stephen Cannistraci (Trombone), Ivy Elizabeth (Dialect Mentor), Annette Garrido (Costumer), Jim Hofmann (Percussionist) , Larissa Norris (Make-up Artist), Clare Pfeifer (Audio/SFX), Paige Rammelkamp (Music Director), Stefan Sittig (Choreographer), Priscilla Stapula (Costumer), Zachary Thompson (Reeds), Lindsay Williams (Reeds), Liz Colandene (Undertaking Arts Coordinator), Joseph Wallen (Director of Accomplishing Arts) Set Builders: Brian Bachrach, Michael Doyle, Clare Pfeifer, Matthew Ratz, Dan Remmers, and Betsy Ryan, Props: Linda Evans, Linda Cork, and Noemi Stapula