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. Leland Drama presents The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood opens on Thursday, May 4, this week in the Leland Public School Performing Arts Center. This hilarious, interactive whodunit mystery musical allows the audience to enter the action and become the ultimate detectives.

The show is based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel of the same name. In the small town of Cloisterham, England, the young and charming Edwin Drood has been mysteriously murdered. But by whom? His leering romantic rival, John Jasper? The infamous purveyor of opium and vice, Princess Puffer? The mysterious Landless twins, newly arrived from Ceylon? Or someone else even more dastardly and villainous? The novel was unfinished when Dickens passed away in 1870.

Nearly 100 years later, inspired by his interest in British pantomimes and the Victorian-era music hall tradition, pop composer Rupert Holmes’ created a musical version of Drood, writing the book, music, lyrics, and orchestration. Holmes conceived the show as a play-within-a-play, with the actors playing dual roles as Drood characters and the fictional English music hall thespians portraying them, but the real draw of Drood is Holmes’ decision to allow the audience, rather than himself, to finish the story. In the show’s second act, the action abruptly stops where Dickens finished writing, and the audience is left to vote between eight potential detectives, seven possible murder suspects, and six would-be lovers to give the story a decidedly happy ending. Each performance ends differently, depending on what the audience decides!

Director Jeremy John Evans, Music Director Rick Church, and Costumer Designer Kathleen Lau present this 1986 Tony Award winning musical on the Leland stage with a full cast and crew of 45 students.

The show will run for six performances: May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13. All shows begin at  7 p.m. Get your tickets now! Cost is $12 for adults and $10 for students. Advance tickets are available online at MyNorthTickets.com or by calling the LPS box office at 231-256-3815. Tickets may also be available at the door.

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