The Mystery of Edwin Drood: An Interactive Musical Comedy Whodunit

CoSA’s hilarious fall production allows you to become the ultimate detective.

One of British novelist Charles Dickens’ most intriguing novels, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, about the disappearance of a wealthy, popular young man, was left incomplete when Dickens died in 1870, taking the secret of Drood’s fate to his grave. Composer-lyricist-librettist Rupert Holmes (of the 1979 “Escape: The Piña Colada Song” fame) has cannily crafted a show-within-a-show that solves the 147-year old mystery with the help of the audience on a nightly basis. This fun, high-spirited and engaging musical opens Friday, October 20 at 7pm featuring the talented musical theatre and drama students of the Coronado School of Arts.

Staged in metatheatrical manner by the Music Hall Royale, a traveling Victorian theatre troupe full of just as many colorful characters as the roles they play, the list of suspects is endless. Was it his drug-addicted possible romantic rival John Jasper? The notorious Princess Puffer? Reverend Crisparkle? Helena or Neville Landless, twin immigrants from Ceylon? Someone else? And who is the enigmatic Dick Datchery? This Tony award-winning musical solves this predicament by cast members, who chat and visit frequently with the audience, conducting a vote on which character is the killer.

“The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a charming and inventive musical that is sure to intrigue and entertain any musical or mystery lover,” according to Barbara Wolf, Chair of CoSA’s award-winning Musical Theatre & Drama conservatory. “Because of the audience participation, every performance is unique.”

The 570-seat Coronado Performing Arts Center Main Stage Theatre, located at 650 D Avenue, is the venue for this family-friendly show with performances October 20, 21, 27 and 28 (7pm), and October 22 (2pm). Tickets are available at the box office 45 minutes prior to performance or online at and range from $6-$18.

What’s the difference between a CoSA production and a Broadway production? The cost of the ticket! You get practically the same amazing music, dance and acting for about one-fifth the cost! Many theatre-goers say they like CoSA productions even better.


Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA) is a premier public school arts conservatory, home to 200 scholar artists grades 9 through 12, who attend the nationally ranked Coronado High School. CoSA provides an intense, pre-professional arts education to students from all over San Diego in six conservatories including dance, digital arts, music, musical theatre and drama, technical theatre and visual arts. For other upcoming CoSA events, visit

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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.” Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: