A novel by Charles Dickens. Only the first half of it exists, because Dickens died on the 9th of June 1870, when he had just finished the 13th chapter. The intriguing mystery (who killed Edwin Drood?) has never been solved, although there have been numerous attempts. Alas, we will never know, though Edwin's uncle Jasper is strongly suspected by most.

A Broadway musical with book, music, and lyrics all by Rupert Holmes, based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. Holmes cleverly solves the problem of not having a traditional ending by asking the audience to solve the mystery -- the subtitle is "The Solve-It-Yourself Broadway Musical."

A theatre company is attempting to stage a musical comedy of the story that Charles Dickens was writing when he died. The show "features" an actor who never arrives (causing the master of ceremonies to be unceremoniously dumped into the proceedings) and an out-of-town prima donna "male impersonator" in the title role who storms off the stage and quits the show just before intermission, and the entire show comes to an absolute halt in mid-song about two-thirds of the way through the second act, since the story was never finished, and the mystery of who killed Edwin Drood was never solved by its author. Instead, the audience solves it via a number of votes. The audience chooses from among five possible "Datchery"s (a clearly disguised "detective" who has been snooping around the second act in a long coat and a beard), seven possible murderers, and a pair of lovers selected from the remaining three, four or five principle characters of either gender. Altogether, the cast has to be ready for eight hundred possible endings.

The original Broadway production included Betty Buckley, Cleo Laine, George Rose, Patti Cohenour, and Howard McGillin. The show won five Tony Awards, including Musical, Actor in a Musical (George Rose), Direction of a Musical (Wilford Leach), Book of a Musical (Rupert Holmes), and Original Score (Rupert Holmes).

Song List
There You Are
A Man Could Go Quite Mad
Two Kinsmen
Moonfall Quartet
Wages of Sin
Both Sides of the Coin
Perfect Strangers
No Good Can Come From Bad
Never the Luck
The Name of Love/Moonfall (Reprise)
Settling the Score
Off To the Races
Don't Quit While You're Ahead
The Garden Path to Hell
Out on a Limerick
Jasper's Confession*
Rosa's Confession*
Puffer's Confession*
The Writing on the Wall

* While these three confessions are on the CD, each character has a confession song. Rosa was the murderer selected on the Press Night preview of the show, and is the author's favorite "serious" confession. Puffer was the murderer selected by the Broadway Opening Night audience, and is the author's favorite "comedic" confession.

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