PHOTO ARCHIVE: Will Chase on the Musical Theatre Stage
By Matthew Blank
Playbill.com looks at the busy stage career of Will Chase. The leading man celebrated a birthday this week (Sept. 12) and will return to Broadway this fall in Roundabout's revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Chase made his Broadway debut as Chris in Miss Saigon, starring opposite Lea Salonga in the final company.
Other credits include Aida, Rent, The Full Monty, Lennon, High Fidelity Billy Elliot and The Story of My Life. He played Michael Swift in Season One of the NBC series "Smash."
Roundabout Theatre Company's new Broadway production of Rupert Holmes' The Mystery of Edwin Drood will open Nov. 13 at Studio 54. Previews begin Oct. 19.
The English Music Hall-style show based on Charles Dickens' final, unfinished novel won 1986 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score. Holmes (Curtains, Say Goodnight Gracie, The Nutty Professor, "Remember WENN") wrote the book, music and lyrics. The new staging will play Studio 54 at 254 W. 54th Street.
The show is famous for allowing the audience to vote on "whodunnit," leading to alternate endings.
The cast includes Tony winner Chita Rivera (The Rink) as Princess Puffer, Tony 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, Betsy Wolfe (Encores! Merrily We Roll Along) as Rosa Bud, Andy Karl (Legally Blonde the Musical) as Neville Landless, Nicholas Barasch as Deputy, Peter Benson (Wonderful Town, Harvey) as Bazzard, Robert Creighton (Anything Goes) as Durdles, Alison Cimmet (Baby It's You!), Jim Walton (Guys and Dolls, Merrily We Roll Along), Nick Corley, Justin Greer, Shannon Lewis, Kiira Schmidt, Eric Sciotto, Janine DiVita, Jenifer Foote and Spencer Plachy.
Directed by Scott Ellis (Harvey, Twelve Angry Men), with choreography by Warren Carlyle (Finian's Rainbow, Chaplin) and music direction by Paul Gemignani, The Mystery of Edwin Drood is billed as "the whodunit musical."
"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).
Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, going online at roundabouttheatre.org or at the Studio 54 box office (254 West 54th Street). Ticket prices range from $42-$137.
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