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Perez Reviews: The Mystery Of Edwin Drood

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood is THE MOST FUN we have had in a Broadway theater this season!

We knew nothing about The Mystery Of Edwin Drood other than it was a musical with a stellar cast and we wanted to see the show.

A period piece and a thriller were what we thought we were getting into, but instead we got a slapstick comedy that was experiential AND an experience!

Based on the unfinished Charles Dickens novel, the musical version of the story is inspired by but not a complete retelling. It varies from the book in that the stage show is much more lighthearted. A full-on comedy!

It is like The Pirates Of Penzance meets Victoria/Victoria and Spamalot, except Drood preceded those last two shows.

What makes Drood so great is the comedy and the fun twist that the audience gets to help solve "the mystery". The songs, while not bad, are almost secondary.

In an unusual move, the show was written completely by Rupert Holmes, from music to lyrics to book to even orchestrations. And, little tidbit, Holmes is the dude who wrote and recorded the #1 hit Escape (The Piña Colada Song) in 1979. For Drood, he won multiple Tony Awards when the show debuted in 1985 with Betty Buckley leading the cast as the titular character.

The Roundabout Theater's current production is the first time the show is being revived on Broadway and it featured the most exceptional cast on Broadway at the moment, with the sensational and mega talented Stephanie J. Block as Drood.

Block was splendid - as was almost every other member of the cast.

The most enjoyable, for us, to watch were Andy Karl as Neville Landless, Jim Norton as the Chairman, and Jessie Mueller as Helena Landless - all of whom were so insanely funny and vocally enthralling.

Most exquisite to hear, though, was Betsy Wolfe as Rosa Bud. She has the voice of an angel!

Chita Rivera is an icon, a legend and Broadway royalty, but also the weakest link in Drood. She's 79 years old and BLESS HER for still getting up there and strutting her stuff, but she felt lost in the show. Her voice was fine; it was her character choices and acting that were not up to par with the rest of the cast. Also, it's definitely a bit jarring when you sound like you're from New York when you're supposed to be from England.

And, also, Peter Benson also underwhelmed as the actor who wants to be the star but just isn't good enough. Or, maybe he was really playing the part too well!

So much of Drood's success relies on the performances, and the fact that almost every single actor delivered an A+ performance means the casting folks are really good and the director, Scott Ellis, deserves major congrats.

The rest of the production team did a very fine job, most notably William Ivey Long for the fabulous costumes!

Oh, and to get to see the show at Studio 54 was such a sweet treat! Bonus!

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SMASH Trims Its Fat & Fires FOUR Castmembers!

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Glorious news!

That slimy, lurking, DETESTABLE Ellis (Jaime Cepero) "producer" character will only be returning to SMASH's second season to wrap up his story line.

Thank the television GODS!

AND Karen’s (Katharine McPhee) cheating, depressed lover-boy Dev (Raza Jaffrey) has also been downsized to series unregular, along with Julia’s boring husband Frank (Brian d'Arcy James) and her not-so-secret beau Michael Swift (Will Chase).

Good riddance!

Now new showrunner Josh Safran just needs some power-player leading lads, no more of these weasly, wet types!

But we don’t necessarily want more harda** directors, either…

We're happy with the one we've got!

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Debra Messing Blames Modern Medicine For Split With Hubby!?

Filed under: TV NewsLove LineDebra Messing

Debra Messing And Will Chase On Smash

That’s a new one!!

Her show Smash is huge right now and she's in a great relationship with co-star Will Chase, but life hasn't always been quite so peachy for Debra Messing.

In a detailed interview with Ladies Home Journal, the re-emerging super-star spoke about divorcing theater guru Daniel Zelman after their two decade relationship fell flat.

Debra suggests modern times are to blame:

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Smash Soundtrack Lands May 1!!!

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All U Broadway Babies better get excited!! The soundtrack to UR favorite new show is about to drop!!

Due May 1, Smash will be available with 13 ah-may-zing tracks — including originals from Tony and Grammy-winning Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman!!

AHH!!! SO EXCITING!!!

OoOoOo… would U like a complete track listing?? CH-CH-Check that out … AFTER THE JUMP

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Debra Messing Introduces New BF To Her Parents!

Filed under: TV NewsLove LineDebra Messing

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Well! Things are moving along quite nicely for these two, huh?

Shortly after becoming a divorcee, Debra Messing reportedly started a relationship with her Smash co-star Will Chase. After last night's world premiere of the show in New York, we'd say that the pair have gotten bit more serious.

After the premiere, Will and Debra joined her parents for an extravagant feast. Will was seen getting chummy with Deb's dad, while the lady in red (hair) sat with her mother at her side. No word on how the rents took to Will, but here's hoping they warmed up to him. Debra actually told reporters on the red carpet that she is currently "very" happy and we would have to assume he's part of that.

And really, what else is there but happiness?!

[Image via WENN.]

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Debra Messing's New Boyfriend Was Married! Announces Split From Wife!

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Well, this situation just got a whole lot stickier.

We reported yesterday that Debra Messing, who recently divorced her husband, Daniel Zelman, had already started dating her Smash co-star Will Chase, but what we didn't realize that the Broadway actor was already MARRIED to Stephanie Gibson - and now they're getting divorced!

Not good!

We have a feeling that this one is a whole lot messier and a whole lot less 'amicable' than what it appears!

But hey! Maybe she can use it to pull a Brandi Glanville and land herself on Real Housewives of New York!

Gurl looks like she can weeeeeeerq it with the Countess!

[Image via WENN.]

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Debra Messing Already Dating Her Smash Co-Star!

Filed under: Love LineDebra Messing

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Moving right along!

Although Debra Messing only just announced that she and her husband of ten years, Daniel Zelman, were getting divorced, sources have revealed that the actress is already in a new relationship - with her Smash co-star, Will Chase!

The insider continues:

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