Elementary, My Dear Playgoer

Last night, we went to see Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure at the Pasadena Playhouse. Wow. I think the previous show was an abberation. This production was excellent!

So what was the play about? Let’s look at the evidence. We have a man in a deerstalker cap with a pipe. We have a doctor who is his best friend. You guessed it: We had a play about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. What other facts do we know? We have a story involving the King of Bohemia, a photo, and Irene Adler. We also have a story about Holmes’ final attempt to incarcerate Professor Moriarty, including a train trip and a visit to Reichenbach Falls. From this, the story is elementary: The plot is based on the famous Holmes story “A Scandal in Bohemia” intertwined with the story in “The Adventure of the Final Problem“. The play is based on the original 1899 play that adapted these stories by William Gillette and Arthur Conan Doyle. It was a classic evening of Holmes, well done and flawlessly performed.

The play starred Mark Capri as Sherlock Holmes; Victor Talmadge as Dr. John Hamish Watson; Laurence Ballard as Professor Moriarty; Libby West as Irene Adler; Preston Maybank as the King of Bohemia; Kenneth Merckx Jr. as James Larrabee; Erin Bennett as Madgle Larrabee, Roberto Guajardo as Sid Prince, and H. Michael Croner and Jonathan Hicks as members of the ensemble. The play was written by Steven Dietz, directed by David Ira Goldstein, and produced in conjunction with the Arizona Theatre Company (which has a production of the play running concurrently in Arizona). You can find the entire playbill (in PDF) here.

This play has restored our faith in the quality of playhouse productions. This is a good thing, because season ticket prices have gone up, from $38.50/ticket to $49.50/ticket (an increase of over 28%!). Still, the next season looks good: there will be six plays chosen from the following: Defiance (John Patrick Shanley); Cuttin Up (Charles Randolph Wright); The Constant Wife (Somerset Maugham); Baby (Book by Sybille Perason, Music and Lyrics by Maltby and Shire); Third (Windy Wasserstein); The Lady with all the Answers (David Rambo); a play from the Hothouse Play Reading Series; or Othello (William Shakespeare).

What’s next on the play calendar: Shakespeare in the Park: Hamlet at Central Park of Santa Clarita on Saturday June 17. After that is “I Do! I Do!” at the Pasadena Playhouse on July 15th (where we’ll be meeting shutterbug93) and “The Last 5 Years” at the Pasadena Playhouse on July 29th. Following that is “The Music Man” at Cabrillo Music Theatre on August 5th. shutterbug93 is trying to talk us into Johnny Guitar on June 18 at the La Mirada Theatre; we’re also watching for tickets for “Curtains” at the Ahmanson.

[Crossposted to cahwyguy and socal_theatre]