Broadway's New Drood Will Feature Stephanie J. Block, Jessie Mueller, Betsy Wolfe, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman
By Kenneth Jones
Roundabout Theatre Company's new Broadway production of Rupert Holmes' The Mystery of Edwin Drood, starring the already-revealed Chita Rivera as Princess Puffer, will also boast Tony Award winner Jim Norton (The Seafarer) as Chairman, Stephanie J. Block (Anything Goes) as Drood, Will Chase ("Smash") as John Jasper, Gregg Edelman (City of Angels) as Reverend Mr. Crisparkle, 2012 Tony nominee Jessie Mueller (On a Clear Day…) as Helena Landless and Betsy Wolfe as Rosa Bud, among other principals.
Roundabout announced most of the cast for the English Music Hall-style show on June 28. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which won 1986 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score, will begin preview performances on Oct. 19. Opening night is Nov. 29 at Studio 54 at 254 W. 54th Street.
The troupe, studded with rich voices and frisky character people, will also include Andy Karl as Neville Landless, Nicholas Barasch as Deputy, Peter Benson as Bazzard, Robert Creighton (Anything Goes) as Durdles, with Alison Cimmet, Nick Corley, Justin Greer, Shannon Lewis, Kiira Schmidt, Eric Sciotto, Jim Walton and Cody Williams.
Directed by Scott Ellis (Harvey, Twelve Angry Men), with choreography by Warren Carlyle (Finian's Rainbow) and music direction by Paul Gemignani, The Mystery of Edwin Drood is billed as "the whodunit musical" based on Charles Dickens' final, unfinished novel. "Who killed Edwin Drood?" Roundabout asks. "It's a question that has stumped audiences for years — now it's your turn to answer one of Broadway's most baffling mysteries. Take a trip back in time to a Victorian music hall where a rowdy ensemble of actors mounts a staging of Charles Dickens' unfinished novel. Everyone on stage is a suspect in the murder of young Edwin Drood — and it's up to you to choose the killer! Is it John Jasper, Edwin's protective but slightly maniacal uncle? Rosa Bud, his reluctant betrothed? The debauched Princess Puffer? Each performance ends differently, depending on what the audience decides!"
The design team includes Anna Louizos (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes), Brian Nason (lighting) and Tony Meola (sound). Additional casting will be announced shortly.
Roundabout subscribers have first access to tickets for the 2012-13 season. Subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets for The Mystery of Edwin Drood will go on sale July 9.
Visit roundabouttheatre.org/joinnow for details.
Norton won a 2007 Olivier Award and a 2008 Tony Award for The Seafarer. In New York, he also appeared on Broadway in Finian's Rainbow (also for Encores!) and The Weir (Olivier nomination); and Off-Broadway's Juno and the Paycock, Dublin Carol (Obie Award); and Port Authority.
Rivera won two Tony Awards (Kiss of the Spider Woman; The Rink) and received seven additional Tony nominations including one for her performance as Liliane La Fleur in Roundabout's Tony Award-winning musical Nine. She created the role of Velma Kelly in the original Broadway production of Chicago opposite Gwen Verdon (1975). Her select Broadway credits include Bye Bye Birdie, Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Bajour, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. She also starred in the film version of "Sweet Charity."
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