Review: ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Symphonic Metal Version]’ by Landless Theatre Company

The 1986 Tony Award best musical winner is playing in DC, and it has one different detail from any other production you’ve ever seen before: a symphonic metal score. Created by Landless Theatre Company, The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Symphonic Metal Version] has an approved symphonic metal score for the Rupert Holmes musical based on Charles Dicken’s final (and unfinished) novel.

The cast of The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Symphonic Metal Version]. Photo courtesy of Landless Theatre Company
The Fleet Street Collective, DC-based metal musicians Andrew Lloyd Baughman, Matt Farkas, Zachary Pinkham, Ray Shaw, Andrew Siddle, and Jen Tonon, arranged the score that is currently brilliantly tearing up Florida Avenue at the Trinidad Theatre/Logan Fringe Arts Space.

Created by Rupert Holmes, the play within a play sees the “Company Royale” actors at the Musical Hall Royale in 1895 London as they attempt to tell Charles Dickens’ unfinished story. Through a series of hints and interactions, the audience is treated to the many motives some characters may have had to want to kill Edwin Drood.

Directed by Melissa Baughman (Who also directed Landless Theatre Company’s Prog Metal Sweeney Todd), Drood features an ensemble cast of Victorian-era characters that interact with the audience on and off, until the moment of truth – when the audience votes on the ending.

Melissa LaMartina in The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Symphonic Metal Version], Photo courtesy of Landless Theatre Company.
The entire cast (listed in full at the end of this review) delivers comedic performances from the moment the audience steps into the theater and keeps them on their toes in “the most thrilling of evenings.”

Want a chance to choose the ending to a story? Keep your eyes (and ears) open and vote to decide who the murderer is – with different endings voted by the audience nightly, no performance is the same! And who knows, there may even be a royal visit at the Music Hall Royale.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Symphonic Metal Version] is recommended for metalheads and murder mystery sleuths of all ages.

The cast is comprised of: Andrew Lloyd Baughman as John Jasper/Clive Paget (booo!- Inside joke; you’ll get it when you see the musical, trust me on this one), Tom Howley as Cedric Moncrieffe/Reverend Crisparkle, Lily Hoy as Edwin Drood/Alice Nutting, Ally Jenkins as Angela Prysock/Pricess Puffer, Melissa LaMartina as Helena Landless/Janet Conover, Simone Lewis as Rosa Bud/Dierdre Peregrine, Ben Ribler as Victor Grinstead/Neville Landless, Josh Speerstra as Durdles/Nick Cricker, Steve Wannal as Chairman William Cartwright, Alex Throne and Jayden Cihlas as Deputy/Nick Cricker Jr., and Matt Baughman as Bazzard/Phillip Bax (who joins Darin Stringer, Matt Morgan, Chris Bowerman, and Ray Shaw in the orchestra as the daring bell ringer)

Running Time: Two hours and 30 minutes, with one intermission.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood plays through Saturday, April 29th, 2018, at Trinidad Theatre in the Logan Fringe Arts Space – 1358 Florida Ave, NE in Washington, DC. For tickets, purchase them online.

LINKS:
In the Moment: Interview with Andrew Baughman, Landless Theatre’s ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Symphonic Metal Edition]’ by David Siegel

A Report on Landless Theatre Company’s ‘Symphonic Edwin Drood’ 2016 Version by Nicole Hertvik

An Interview with Andrew and Melissa Baughman on ‘Sweeney Todd – Prof Metal Version’ by David Friscic