Theatre In Review: “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Elusive Ear”

 

It wasn’t stuffy like an old library, alchemy set and red wallpaper, swirling in Sherlock’s pipe smoke. It wasn’t prim and proper like alluring violins, a tea set and a Victorian-era setting. It wasn’t poised like Vincent van Gogh and Oscar Wilde.

But it was as grand as the set that Bartley H. Bauer (Scenic Designer), Brad Phillips (Sound Designer), Danna Segrest (Properties Designer) and Noele Stollmack (Lighting Designer) created. A set my husband deemed as “exactly like Sherlock Holmes.”

It was also funny – really, really funny. Like Jimmy Kimmel saying just about anything.

The famous Guy Ritchie couldn’t have cast a better Sherlock if he tried, and he has, so it’s a good thing Guy Sanville was in charge of this one. Mark Colson is undeniably the perfect Mr. Holmes with his charismatic personality and engaging facial expressions. Colson depicts Sherlock as erratic as ever and it is wonderful.

The ladies of the show bring it. Sarab Kamoo, who plays Irene Adler, and Caitlin Cavannaugh, performing the part of Marie Chartier, both demonstrate their acting expertise. I love that playwright, David MacGregor, gave these women such strong roles. Instead of simply being there for looks or just acting as sidekicks, the play’s leading ladies are intelligent and involved in the center of the show’s plot.

Rusty Mewha conveys the eloquence one would expect from Oscar Wilde but spins it into powerful hilarity. He doesn’t arrive until the second half of the show, but his secondary character gives the play a boost.

Vincent van Gogh, played by Tom Whalen, is an odd character. As a character, he didn’t strike my fancy, however, as an actor, Whalen does a marvelous job. His body language, mannerisms and the longing in his voice sell van Gogh’s pain.

And we can’t forget dear Watson. The doctor, played by Paul Stroili, is the glue that holds the show together. He keeps the play moving with his humor and balanced persona. Stroili’s acting exudes professionalism and talent, which is no surprise considering his impressive resume. His credits include: “Chicago P.D.,” “Undercover Bridesmaid,” and “Malcom in the Middle,” among others, and his autobiographical solo show, “Straight Up with a Twist,” was nominated for an LA Ovation Award and a Broadway World Award.

“Why did I write this play? To see it,” playwright MacGregor says. “It’s an action-adventure featuring copious amounts of absinthe, a severed ear and fabulous women sword-fighting, all set in the Victorian rooms of the greatest fictional character ever created – Sherlock Holmes.”

I couldn’t agree more. It was entertaining, hilarious and wild.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Elusive Ear” runs Wednesday – Sundays now through Saturday, May 26. Tickets range from $27 to $46 and are available for purchase here: http://www.purplerosetheatre.org/sherlock-holmes-and-the-adventure-of-the-elusive-ear/

Photo by Sean Carter Photography

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