The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a delightful musical that Hubbard Hall is presenting on weekends until December 3. This is a new version of the play written specifically for Hubbard Hall which is a perfect setting for it. As David Snider, the director of the play and the Executive and Artistic Director of Hubbard Hall explains in the playbill, he heard that a theatre in Raleigh, North Carolina had done a shorter version of the play which David has admired since he saw it as a seventeen year old. He wrote the theatre and never heard from them. Instead, he received a phone call from Rupert Holmes. Holmes had written the play, the music and the lyrics. After a long telephone call, Holmes agreed to write a version which set the action at Hubbard Hall in 1895. Since his adopted name is Holmes, the year 1895 has special significance for the playwright/composer.
The result is a delightful production in a setting that enhances the play. Charles Dickens wrote the book on which the play is based. Unfortunately, Dickens did not finish the book because he died. However, as in all the productions of this play, it is the audience who finishes it by voting on the villain. Each performance may be resolved differently, not only in terms of the killer but also who will be the couple who find love and happiness at the play’s end.
Bob and I went to opening night. We not only enjoyed the production, but had a chance to talk with Mr. Holmes and some of the actors. You can click on our discussion below. You can also click on the Hubbard Hall web site for tickets. We have also included the interview which Joe Donahue had with Rupert Holmes and David Snider on WAMC.
Opening Night with Rupert Holmes and David Snider