February 21, 2021

Creator Rupert Holmes gives a rave review to Manhattan School of Music’s presentation of his musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, calling it a triumph

Rupert Holmes, who wrote the book, lyrics and music for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, has nothing but praise for the MSM production declaring it a “triumph of innovation” and now part of the musical’s illustrious legacy.

The pre-recorded presentation is running for three showings on the MSM website Feb 19 to 21, 2021.

“MSM Musical Theatre’s breakout reconception of The Mystery of Edwin Drood is as notable an achievement in the history of the show as its original transfer from Central Park to Broadway: a 2021 triumph of vibrant talent, resourcefulness, innovation and determination over the current pandemic, in responsibly safe yet richly entertaining fashion,” Rupert Holmes, who studied at MSM in the 1960s, told MSM’s creative team in an email.

“It brims over with youthful energy in league with a savvy world-class creative team. An incredible accomplishment, a miraculous affirmation of the ‘all-for-one’ spirit that is musical theatre, and proof positive that where there’s a willing company, there’s a way to go on with the show! As the show curtain rises on their vivid streaming stage, MSM Musical Theatre truly becomes The Little Music Hall That Could!” he says.

WATCH VIDEO TRAILER of 'THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD' made by MSM Musical Theatre Student Carter Sabuda

The making of a musical during a pandemic

All safety protocols concerning COVID-19 were rigorously followed during the making of the video, including social distancing and mask wearing by the participants and producers. The majority of the students never appeared together in the same scenes during filming, but sang and performed together thanks to digital editing.

The recording was made over a period of several months with nearly two dozen MSM Musical Theatre students taking part in front of the camera, as well as behind the scenes assisting the principal creative team of Director Evan Pappas, Liza Gennaro, the Associate Dean and Director of MSM’s Musical Theatre program who choreographed the production, and MSM Musical Theatre Musical Director David Loud.

The video was produced and edited by the digital storytelling agency, Super Awesome Friends.

While much of the production was filmed on location at Manhattan School of Music in the music conservatory’s Morningside Heights neighborhood in New York City, many of the students’ performances were videotaped remotely from their homes across the US.


“MSM Musical Theatre’s breakout reconception of ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ is as notable an achievement in the history of the show as its original transfer from Central Park to Broadway”

Creator of 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'

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