My first musical – actually on Broadway – was a mystery to me for the first half of the show. What were we watching? The tickets were a gift, a treat, as family watched our young children. We ventured into the Big Apple from NJ environs to attend a matinee performance of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
I hadn’t done my homework. I didn’t know what the musical was about. It was enough that I finally was going to see a show on Broadway! My first clue that the afternoon had gotten away from me was just before the show began, the characters showed up in the audience – and as we were in the first row of the balcony on the aisle – right next to us. We were wooed (with very loud singing) to believe that this character was NOT the murderer. Of course, all the main characters were also in the aisles and on laps singing at the top of their lungs that they were also NOT the murderer. Chaos, confusion, cacaphony – and the show had not even begun.
To further confuse the issue – I love Broadway! – Betty Buckley played the main male lead Edwin Drood. Did he die? As Charles Dickens died halfway through writing this book, we may never know. But the fun of the choose-your-own-ending musical – and now the fun of using data visualization analyzing the different texts of the story from 1870 on, keeps the story alive and interesting to Broadway fans and scholars alike.
See these blog posts by Beth Seltzer
I like when my worlds collide!
Is it clear?
If you hear my voice, then you’re alive.
What a bloody marvel we survive,
When you think of every risk we face
In our mad human race!
I have read the writing on the wall!
Try to live forever
And give up never
The fight – you’ll need the wherewithal!
Can’t you heed the lightning
As I plead.
Inciting you to read the writing on the wall!