; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Musical theatre is alive and well in Vancouver. In fact, it's thriving. With a span of a few weeks, I have been able to see at least 4 different musicals that are currently showing in our city. Who says we have to wait for those touring Broadway productions to make it out West? Sure, we'll finally be getting Jersey Boys (7 years later!) in September, but why wait for that, when there are plenty of choices for Vancouverites?

Last night I had the opportunity to see The Mystery of Edwin Drood, presented by Fighting Chance Productions. I've seen several of their shows before, including Forbidden Broadway and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum, and they do a wonderful job!

Last night was no different. It was my first time even being at the Metro Theatre, and I was amazed to discover this place, located in Marpole, just by the airport. Apparently, it's been there running shows since 1963! Inside, is a great space and theatre perfect for bringing people together for live shows! Where has it been all my life?

Okay, so the show. First off, you need to know it's based on Charles Dickens' unfinished novel of the same name. It's also in the style of British pantomime. If you're not familiar with British pantomime, then here are some key things you should know:

- there's a narrator
- it's wild and chaotic and noisy
- it's comedic (in a slapstick type of way)
- sometimes women play men, and men play women

Knowing that, you should be in for a good time at Edwin Drood. This "mystery" enables the audience to choose how they want the storyline to go. There was booing and hissing, clapping and cheering, actors were running up and down the aisles, and the audience was all over it. Judging by the noise, crowd favourites last night had to be Alexander McMorran's charismatic lead role of John Jasper, Linda Leong Sum as the Opium den matriarch, the shunted yet talented Chris Lam, and the drunken stonemason Durdles played by James Walker.

The thing is however, each night will be a different ending - it all depends on the audience!

A huge thank you to director Ryan Mooney, who not only is busy at box office sorting out the will call tickets, but is also bagging up a line-up of more musicals to hit the Vancouver scene. This Spring, he'll be bringing the Canadian premiere of Grey Gardens to the stage, a re-visit of Rent, and just announced last night, the spectacular Side Show, which I've been wanting to see since the late 90s and now I finally have my chance. Little Shop of Horrors will also be coming to us, just in time for Halloween! Thank you Ryan for dusting off musicals that may never have seen the light of day again, if it weren't for you! I want to be his BFF, but I know he'd never hang out with me because he's too busy directing musicals and living the dream!

The Mystery of Edwin Drood plays at Vancouver's Metro Theatre until March 3. You can buy your tickets here through Tickets Tonight! This is a mystery worth going back to again and again!

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