Two Thumbs Up For Drood’s Tale
“Drood,” the unique musical mystery based on Charles Dicken’s unfinished novel, is the final production of The Barn Players’ 2013 season. They clearly saved the best for last.
The audience experience begins right when you enter the theatre. Characters from the play are roaming, chatting with patrons about how the evening will unfold. Throughout the performance, they interact with the crowd. And during the second act, the audience members even get to choose the show’s villain by voting with applause.
That means a different ending for nearly every performance. A producer once determined there are some 200 ending possibilities.
The play is the story of young Edwin Drood who mysteriously disappears during a performance of a stage show and is presumably murdered. The question is who did it – his romantic rival John Jasper? Princess Puffer? Reverend Cris Sparkle? Helena or Neville Landless? Immigrants from Ceylon? Or someone else? In fact everyone on stage is a suspect.
“Drood” is directed by Kipp Simmons and features one of the largest casts ever presented by the Barn Players: Eric Magnus (The Barn’s very own artistic director), Kay Noonan, Jonathan Andrews, Megan Horsman, Mark Murphy, Valerie Dykes, Steven James, Samantha Agron, Joell Ramsdell, Dave Fullerton, Miles Wirth, Daniel King, Bridget Angles, Daniel Kedish, Jessica Alcorn, Erica Baruth and JC Dressler.
The orchestra included: Kevin Bogan (piano), Tom Harrington (piano), Rob Browning (piano), Ron Ernst (drums), Landon Vinson (violin), Jerry Old (horn), Lee Haake (trumpet 1) and Paul Cornelsen (trumpet 2).
Everyone in the cast did an exceptional job performing their parts.
Special accolades go to Magnus as M. William Cartwright and the Chairman. His energy kept the story exciting and his voice is crisp and clear – even during word rich songs.
Megan Horseman, who plays Drood’s fiance Rosa Bud, has an exceptional soprano voice. She hit even the tough notes on either end of her range.
Jonathan Andrews, as antagonist John Jasper, brought to the part the perfect combination of friendly and crazy. Despite a break from theater to be daddy to two sweet kiddos, he did not skip a beat. And Dicken’s circumlocutory tendencies certainly didn’t make it easy.
Valerie Dykes as Princess Puffer was just fun. She brought a strong performance to the stage, complete with a natural musical talent. She made songs even with large ranges seem easy.
Definitely don’t miss your chance to visit The Barn Players for this amazing production. You will not be disappointed.
“Drood” is playing now through Nov. 24: Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., at the Barn Players, 6219 Martway in Mission. The production is rated PG-13. Tickets are $18 and may be ordered by calling 1-800-838-3006 or on the theatre website www.thebarnplayers.org.
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