In this second part of four looking back at 1986's Best Musical Tony winner, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and later, just Drood, I'll take a look at the creative team behind the show: where they were before, during and after the show. It is pretty interesting (to me, at least!). I hope you enjoy.
Rupert Holmes: Book, Music and Lyrics
Before Drood: Holmes was most famous as the singer-songwriter of the classic song, "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)." He had a few other hits, and did some songwriting for film.
During Drood: The show that sarted it all for his theatre career, he was the very first person to win the Tony for Best Book and Best Score of a musical, and *that didn't happen again until Jonathan Larsen received both for RENT.
- After Drood: Mr. Holmes went on to write much more for the theatre, including the plays Accomplice, Solitary Confinement (both mysteries of sorts, and both fast flops), the one-man play that ran neary two years on Broadway and had a long national tour, Say Goodnight, Gracie (Tony nominee, Best Play). TV fans might remember his series, Remember WENN, about the 40's radio station and featuring scads of Broadway talent, including his Drood, Betty Buckley; he is also a best-selling novelist of Swing and Where the Truth Lies, which was also made into a movie starring Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon. Most reccently, he contributed music, book and lyrics to Kander and Ebb's own mystery musical, Curtains, earning another Tony nod for Best Musical). His The First Wives Club: The Musical is on track for Broadway in the coming seasons.
During Drood: Wilford Leach won his second Tony Award for direction of a musical. This was no small fete, considering that this was the first (and to date) only Broadway musical that featured dozens of possible endings, selected on the spot by the audience and acted out by the company.
- After Drood: Sadly, Mr. Leach passed away in 1988.
During Drood: Daniele earned her third Tony nomination for the show. She was previously nominated for Pirates and The Rink.
- After Drood: Graciela Daniele continues to be a force in Broadway choreography. She wrote the book and fully staged Dangerous Games, directed and choreographed Once on This Island; she wrote, conceived and staged Chronicle of a Death Foretold, earning Tony nods for both Best Book and Best Choreography. Other credits include choreography/staging for the original Ragtime, The Goodbye Girl, The Pirate Queen, and the solo Broadway shows of Barbara Cook, Chita Rivera and Elaine Stritch. All told, she has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards, 9 Drama Desks, and that doesn'y even account for her off-Broadway work. Most recently, she provided the dances for the Pal Joey revival.
Bob Shaw: Scenic Design
- Before Drood: The Pirates of Penzance, The Human Comedy
- During Drood: Shaw was Drama Desk nominated for his design of Drood.
- After Drood: Coastal Disturbances
During Drood: He designed the lights for Drood (Drama Desk nomination) and The House of the Blue Leaves for Lincoln Center Theatre (Tony nomination).
After Drood: Among the many shows (37 on Broadway since Drood): Smile, the revival of Anything Goes, City of Angels, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls (1992), Titanic, 42nd Street (2001), and most recently, Pal Joey. He has been nominated for 10 Drama Desks and 8 Tony Awards.
Lindsay W. Davis: Costume Design
- Before Drood: He assisted on the 1981 revival of Fiddler on the Roof.
- During Drood: Davis made his solo design debut on Broadway with The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
- After Drood: He designed the play The Cemetary Club. He continues to teach costume design.
During Drood: The show was his first as a Broadway musical director.
After Drood: He has gone on to orchestrate or arrange 18 Broadway shows including the legendary Carrie, Legs Diamond, Falsettos, Spelling Bee, Young Frankenstein, and Disney's The Little Mermaid. He won Tony Awards for Assassins and next to normal.
Part III: The Ensemble of Edwin Drood, including the Oscar nominated director of a Best Picture winner.
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