Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Albert Einstein High School The Mystery of Edwin Drood

By • Nov 16th, 2011 • Category: Cappies

Every avid theatre goer has had at least one unfortunate experience where they excitedly arrive to see a show, only to spend the majority of the night struggling to keep their heavy lids from falling. Albert Einstein’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood allows no opportunity to even sneak a yawn, as audience participation is encouraged from start to finish.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is based upon Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel of the same name. Rupert Holmes’ Broadway adaptation earned five Tonys and the show has continued to be a popular performance choice for regional and high school theatres. The musical transports audience members to London’s Music Hall Royale, where the resident troupe is preparing to perform their rendition of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Audience members are introduced to an orphaned Edward Drood, played by the renowned male impersonator, Alice Nutting (Julia Timko). Drood currently lives with his uncle, choir teacher John Jasper (Jason Guerrero), but he and his fiancĂ©e, Miss Rosa Bud (Sarah McCully), were arranged to marry by their late fathers. Drama ensues though, as Miss Rosa Bud has gained the affection of more than one man; her music master, Jasper, is in love with her, and fellow orphan Neville Landless (Storm Kowaleski) longs for her affection as well. The plot thickens as Edwin Drood mysteriously disappears on Christmas Eve. What happens next you may ask? Only the audience can decide in this interactive show within a show, as the conclusion of the story was left unfinished due to Dickens’ untimely death.

Overall, the entire cast was lively and engaging, with several standouts. The chairman (Aaron Fellows) kept the show moving along and provided the story with some much needed clarity. His one liners and brisk line delivery enhanced his undeniable charisma. Julia Timko’s portrayal of Edwin Drood was spot on as she navigated the indifferent relationship between him and Rosa, and ultimately the amicable decision to end their engagement. Timko’s clear alto voice shone during “Perfect Strangers,” her duet with Rosa. Rory Beckett was delightfully bright and feisty as the Deputy; her sprightly dance moves lit up the stage.

The show included a small but talented ensemble, who each established strong identities of their own. The ensemble best complimented peppy numbers such as “Off to the Races.” The energy the ensemble added to the show and their interaction with audience members was exciting and unique.

The visibility of the running crew for the show was a bit distracting at times, but they moved set pieces quickly and efficiently. The lighting changes during musical numbers, spotlights, and blackouts were done well. The makeup was a delightful aspect of the period piece; every woman in the cast was perfectly done up as a Victorian era lady and Helena Landless’ (Maya Martin-Udry) cartoonish makeup accented her character’s dramatic flair perfectly.

The cast and crew of The Mystery of Edwin Drood worked together to create a captivating, interactive and spontaneous musical experience from the second we saw “Drood” prominently advertised on the windows of the school to the playful ending we chose for ourselves.

by Alexis Lahr of Thomas Wootton HS

Photo Gallery

Aaron Fellows and Abi Fuentes Sarah McCully
Aaron Fellows and Abi Fuentes
Sarah McCully
Julia Timko and Sarah McCully Aaron Fellows, Abi Fuentes, Julia Timko
Julia Timko and Sarah McCully
Aaron Fellows, Abi Fuentes, Julia Timko
Rory Beckett and Maya Martin-Udry
Rory Beckett and Maya Martin-Udry

Photos by Joe McCary

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