The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

WEEKENDER / Entertainment

August 24, 2012

Impressive cast in fun ‘Mystery of Edwin Drood’




Tom Hill, an outstanding character actor, dances and struts his stuff as Durdles, grave digger and stone mason, the one who seems to know the most about the cathedral crypt.  Hill treats the audience to many laughs throughout the nearly three hour performance. Sandy K. Peck gets a high five for her delightful and enticing portrayal of Princess Puffer of the opium den and her other sundry wiles. 
Also impressive in this cast are Kyle Lorek as Neville Landless, transplant from Ceylon who has come with his twin sister to Cloisterham to study, and David Malinowski as Bazzard, a rather shy and strange clerk who has no reason for being written into the script — except to dazzle with a song that is given to him as an afterthought.
The role of Rosa Bud, the young love interest of quite a few of the characters and the pupil of music master John Jasper, was very nicely sung by Heather Arata. The operatic quality of her voice gave credence to her station in life as a student of music and a pending heiress. The title character was played by Kelly Smith who assumed the role of Alice Nutting, a male impersonator singing the role of Edwin Drood. (There’s the Victor-Victoria part). Smith did a yeoperson’s job in her role of a woman playing a woman who played a man.
The opening of this show found RRT almost full and that should be the case for the entire run of the show this weekend and Thursday, Friday and Saturday of next weekend.  It’s a fun, fun show that offers lots of laughs and surprises. If you go, make sure to vote. A hanging chad takes on new meaning when a murder has been committed. Tickets may be reserved by phoning the RRT box office at 428-7092. The curtain goes up each night at 8.

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