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5 Theatrical Mysteries

June 29, 2017
Julie Jarema
Riveted Editorial Board
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Girl About Town is a sparkling mystery with plenty of darkness lurking beneath the surface. Lulu’s glamorous new Hollywood life is a reward for her keeping her mouth shut about a Mafia murder she witnessed back in New York. After a series of entanglements and a bit of romance, Lulu finds herself on the run after she’s framed for attempted murder.

This amount of drama and theatrics immediately brought to mind flashy Broadway shows that revolve around a mystery—some chilling, some over-the-top hilarious—with elaborate costumes and ornate stages. If you love the thrills of a good show and a little suspense, be sure to read Girl About Town and check out these musicals and plays:


1. The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Charles Dickens’s unfinished (cause he died) mystery novel became even more of a mystery without an ending, leaving it up to the interpretation of other creators to resolve the story. In the Broadway show, the audience votes for the person they believed killed Edwin Drood. The plot twists and turns, often to hilarious results, as the group dynamics grow more convoluted and ridiculous.

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2. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Monty is ninth in line to inherit the earldom of Highhurst. In order to gain a higher status and income to win over the affections of Sibella Hallward, Monty plots to kill off his other relatives ahead of him for the earldom. This leads to carrying around poison in his pocket, sawing holes in ice skating ponds, and decapitation via barbells, just to name a few creative methods of murder. When Monty is thrown in jail for a murder he (somehow) didn’t commit, the audience must wait to see how events unfold to find out who really poisoned Lord Adalbert (the previous/eighth earl).

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3. The Phantom of the Opera

The invisible masked man, the mysterious singing, the secret underground lair beneath the opera house, creepy mannequins, scary monkey music boxes, and the couple of theater people who end up dead fall into the category of convoluted death trap mysteries that have beautiful scenery. The Phantom remains an enigma, but I think the real mystery here is why a highly questionable sequel that takes place on Coney Island exists.

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4. Sweeney Todd

This musical is more horror than mystery, but there are lots of murders, secret identities/disguises, and that question of what’s in the pies, so I think it counts. There’s also the trend of characters being falsely accused of crimes and sent to jail, which in this case is Benjamin Barker (who takes on the alias Sweeney Todd after his escape), imprisoned by a corrupt judge. The songs are catchy, but there’s plenty of blood and gore to make this musical as dark and twisted as Tim Burton’s genius mind.

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5. The Mousetrap

This Agatha Christie murder mystery play starts with a murder and ends with a plot twist. The show takes place at Monkswell Manor, where all the guests are trapped due to the snow. They find out the first murder was connected to the mistreatment of three foster children, and from there, the suspense continues as other murders take place inside the house.

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