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The Scroll

The Student News Site of Fargo North High School

The Scroll

The Scroll

North High Musical “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”

Poster credits to Darby Njos
Fargo North’s poster for “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

This December, the Fargo North Theatre Department is putting together another spectacular musical. Written by Rupert Holmes, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” was first performed in 1985 and is based on the unfinished Charles Dickens book of the same name. Dickens only finished half of the book before dying, leaving the rest of the story a mystery. This is where the musical takes an interesting approach.
During the 2nd Act, the audience will vote for the ending they want to see, and the one with the most votes will be performed that night. This means the musical will have many different endings (358 in the original), and the decision lies entirely in the audience’s hands. This decision affects which character will be the murderer, which will be the detective, and which two characters will be lovers, making this musical a very different murder mystery experience. There’s no way to predict who the murderer will be, as the reveal depends on which character the audience wants to see as the murderer, and not necessarily the motives of each character. Meanwhile, the audience will have no idea which character got the most votes until the ‘big reveal.’ For most musicals, the audience does not affect the show. They’re simply there to watch, yet they now play a major part in shaping the plot, which creates an unexpected, yet enjoyable level of audience participation.
The musical also features eleven main performers. It opens with the Chairman, played by junior Josiah Gillen, telling the story of Edwin Drood, played by senior Eliza McIntyre. The audience then meets Drood’s uncle, John Jasper, played by sophomore Seth Lamont, Drood’s fiance, senior Arlo Gould as Rosa Bud, and junior Nick Webb as the local Reverend Mr. Crisparkle. Crisparkle introduces his charges from Ceylon, senior Susannah Schwantes as Helena Landless, and junior Isaiah Jensrud as Neville Landless. The story then transitions to an opium den in London, where junior Bailey Kolesar as Princess Puffer, serenades the audience. And of course, junior Benji Trumbo as Durdles, senior Tyler Hoverson as Bazzard, and junior Foster Helm as Throttle provide some much-needed comic relief.
Winning five Tony Awards out of eleven nominations, the Best Book of a Musical award, and the Best Original Score award, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is definitely an experience you won’t want to miss. The musical will be performed in the North High theater on December 7-9 at 7:30 PM and on December 10 at 2:00 PM, and be different each night, so make sure to come check it out!

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Caleb Roth
Caleb Roth, Writer
Hi, my name is Caleb Roth and I'm currently a senior. This is my first year in Journalism, and I don't have much experience. But I'm really looking forward to learning and writing as much as I can for our newspaper. In my free time, I enjoy playing piano/drums, playing video games, and hanging out with my golden retriever, Forest.
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