New Mexico State University Department of Theatre Arts and The American Southwest Theatre Company will present the whodunit musical comedy The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Musical November 21 through December 7. Based on Charles Dickens’ last unfinished novel, it keeps everyone guessing — even the actors — until the end when the audience decides “whodunit.”
This Rupert Holmes musical is set at the downand-out Music Hall Royale featuring an exuberant group of Victorian actors. There’s high-spirited song and dance, comedy, romance, a woman disguised as a man, and much more. Then Edwin Drood goes missing, and all that’s found is his bloodied coat. Who murdered Edwin Drood? With numerous suspects, the audience gets to write the ending that Charles Dickens didn’t.
In 1986, Edwin Drood won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and achieved cult status. The New York Timesdescribed it as “Boisterous and delectable. Shimmering musical pleasure to savor.”
The NMSU/ASTC production is directed by Josh Chenard, with scenic and lighting design by Jim Billings, costumes by Guenevere McMahon, sound design by Matt Reynolds and props by David Hereford. It is music directed by Megan McQueen and choreographed by Karlos Salcedo and includes a live orchestra of local musicians. Cast members include NMSU faculty member Tom Smith as the Chairman and a cast of 25 NMSU students led by Nicole Bartlett as Edwin Drood, Aaron Hernandez as John Jasper, and Pari Cox as Rosa Bud.
Dates for The Mystery of Edwin Drood are November 21 through December 7. Tickets are $11–18 and are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office Monday through Friday between the hours of 12 to 4 p.m. or by calling 646-4515 or 646-1420. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. The production contains some content that may not be suitable for children. Following the opening night performance on November 21, there will be a reception sponsored by NMSU’s College of Arts and Science.