Album Review: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012 Broadway Cast Recording)

“I know there must be love that’s yet to be”

Fun and games to be had with this surprisingly effective piece of music hall pastiche. Rupert Holmes’ 1985 musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood is less of a Dickens adaptation that one might initially expect, opting instead to use the source material of Dickens’ unfinished novel as a springboard into something daftly enjoyable, a meta-theatrical murder mystery event with a play-within-a-play and multiple endings which are determined by audience vote. This recording is taken from the 2012 Broadway revival which was mounted by Roundabout Theatre Company.

Holmes’ songwriting thus draws from a raft of old-school influences in harking back to a classic age. There’s a healthy dose of Victoriana in the music hall and a measure of pantomimic broadness mixed in with the Broadway-heavy musical language and it is an enjoyable cast recording to listen to even if you’re not exactly sure what it going on! For completeness, we get the eight possible endings, each with their own song, and this is just one of the aspects that makes this a more full recording than the original – others include the new Act II opener ‘An English Music Hall’ and the revised version of ‘Ceylon’ incorporating ‘A British Subject’, both strong additions. Continue reading “Album Review: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012 Broadway Cast Recording)”

Barely-a-Review: You Can’t Take It With You, Longacre Theatre

“I know they do rather strange things. But they’re gay and they’re fun and I don’t know there’s a kind of nobility about them”

I had a perfectly good time at George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You – surprisingly so, given its old-fashioned comedic nature and the presence of the destroyer of Shakespeare James Earl Jones. Well why did I book, you might well ask. For Rose Byrne I would tell you (the first series of Damages is one of my utmost favourite pieces of television ever) and she was indeed great. Annoyingly though, I was quite under the weather that evening (apologies to anyone who the in the vicinity of my stifled spluttering – yes, I was that guy) but when on Broadway – for the first time too – what do you do? It’s not as if you can reschedule… And there’s nothing worse than being stuck in an audience of people laughing their heads off when you’re not quite feeling the same. It’s not to say I thought this was a bad show, it just wasn’t really my cup of tea.

Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes (with interval)
Booking until 22nd February