Review: 'Drama Prince' Delightfully Cozy, Brimming with Passion

by Christopher Verleger

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday December 8, 2022

Review: 'Drama Prince' Delightfully Cozy, Brimming with Passion

Author Joe Cosentino's "Drama" mystery series, and the irresistible 15th installment, "Drama Prince," features the best of what his readers have come to expect from the previous entries — murder, romance, intrigue, and, above all, camp. Only this time, the targets aren't members of the cast and crew or their followers, and there may be the sound of something that hasn't surfaced in quite some time at Treemeadow College: Wedding bells.

Married theater professors Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver put their academic and dramatic prowess into action at a gay fairytale theme park located in the mecca of San Francisco, where they are staging a production of "Let's Ball," an all-male musical adaptation of "Cinderella." Not surprisingly, Nick and Noah are cast as King and Queen of the royal kingdom, while Fabulous and besties Martin and Ruben are portraying the wicked Stepmother and the Duke. Their respective stagestruck sons, Taavi and Ty, are also cast as the evil stepbrothers Gro and Tesque.

Subservient playwright Kirk Castle appears excited to see his work brought to life, unlike his agent and stepbrother, Carl Catalango, who repeatedly interrupts rehearsal with his negative commentary, much to Nicky's chagrin. As usual, romantic interest hovers among the lead actors, Amador (Cinder) and Paddy (Prince Charming), as well as Tej and Nate, who play the friendly mice-turned-footmen. Smitten Amador is hesitant to pursue commitment-phobe Paddy, and mystical Tej has a lot in common with devout Nate, but maybe not what matters most to him.

Meanwhile, the lone female in the cast, Sloane (as the Horse), is the object of Taavi's affection, and the feeling is inarguably mutual. When 18-year-old Taavi tells his dads that he wants to marry her right away, they are not so quick to get to the church on time.

Since murder seems to follow Nicky and Noah everywhere, brooding Detective Tick Tailor is assigned to watch over the production — only to end up dead. His successor, the flirtatious John Montgomery Smith, soon meets the same fate, as well as the evangelical Liz Lake and the contriving Camilo Santiago. Courtesy of their customary roleplay, the gumshoes discover that each detective is connected to at least one member of the cast, which makes everyone a suspect.

"Drama Prince" makes for yet another delightfully cozy mystery, brimming with passionate love affairs, clever interplay, and compelling, contemplative backstories. Nicky and Noah always deliver, and this customary installment is complete with hilarity and absurdity, as well as tenderness and adoration. Something tells me this isn't the last readers will hear from this duo, especially now that they have a new member in their family.

"Drama Prince: A Nicky and Noah Mystery," by Joe Cosentino is available now.

Chris is a voracious reader and unapologetic theater geek from Narragansett, Rhode Island.