Be a part of the fun in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” a raucous musical extravaganza of mystery, intrigue, and comedy where you get to choose the ending. It opens April 17 at Footlight Theatre and runs through May 3.
Based on the unfinished Charles Dickens novel, this Tony Award-winning musical recently enjoyed a revival on Broadway and features talented actors from across the region.
“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” unfolds as a story within a story, said Director Leslie Flores. The Music Hall Royale, a hilariously loony Victorian musical troupe, has decided to put on a flamboyant rendition of Drood. The story focuses on the character of John Jasper (Noel Carlson), a Jekyll-and-Hyde choirmaster who is quite madly in love with his music student, the fair Miss Rosa Bud (Alice Dickey). Miss Bud is, in turn, engaged to Jasper’s nephew, young Edwin Drood (Caitlyn Desjardins). The title character disappears mysteriously one stormy Christmas Eve-but has Edwin Drood been murdered? And if so, then whodunnit?
“The best part is the audience chooses who killed Drood, who loves who and who investigated it,” said Dutch Williams, who portrays Durdles. “Every night can be different!”
Williams is a newcomer to Footlight who can usually be found working backstage at area theaters, but he said he is excited to have his first-ever musical role onstage with “Drood.” Another Footlight newcomer, LuAnne Pezel, has 30 years of theater under her belt and the accolades to prove it. Pezel, who plays the Chairman, has won multiple Northern Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation awards in productions at such theaters as the Memorial Opera House and Portage Community Theatre, with the latest given to her last year for her portrayal of “Marmee/The Hag” in MOH’s musical “Little Women.”
“I have loved getting to know people I have never worked with before,” Pezel said. “The cast has been warm and welcoming to someone else new on their stage. The staff has been equally quick to make me feel at home.”
Other members of the cast are George Maslankowski, Laura Meyer, Hillary Havlin, Alexander Bonner, Thom Nelson, Anthony Holt, Karen Arden, Debbie Bartholomew, Emil Cripe and Amanda Sixbury.
Show times are April 17-19, 24-26 and May 1-3. Tickets are $15 adults (or 2 for $25 with a coupon printed off our website at footlightplayers.org); $10 for children 12 and younger . Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Doors open 45 minutes prior to curtain. Reservations will be held until 15 minutes prior to curtain unless secured by the presentation of a Footlight Season Gift Card or by prior payment in full. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling (219) 874-4035 or at www.footlightplayers.org.
Auditions for Footlight’s next play, “Lend Me a Tenor,” will be from 7 to 9 p.m. April 19 and 20. Director Alice Dickey is looking for 4 men and 4 women to fill the cast for this madcap comedy.