The payoff to THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD is a moment in Act Two, in the 2nd to the last verse of the last song of the show. It lasts for about 15 seconds, and it is well worth it.
After 2 hours and 55 minutes of sublime music and ridiculous melodrama stage bits and sight gags, Drood / Nutting sings:
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.
She sings this simply, directly to the audience sans bravado, sans character, sans acting. And in that 15 seconds, the audience realizes that ever since "There You Are" at the top of act one, we've been welcoming them, inviting them to let go of their troubles and concerns so that they can leave the theater refreshed, rested and ready to take up their daily struggles again. And some members of the audience cry, because a human voice without judgement or agenda has called out to them to say "as long as you are alive, there is hope". This is the gift of Edwin Drood. Thank you Rupert Holmes. And thank you to the the entire company of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.