note: entire contents copyright 2011 by Cindy Sue
Sherlock Holmes, The Final Adventure
By Steven Dietz
Based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette & Arthur Conan Doyle
At the Winnipesaukee Playhouse
July 3-13, 2013
This play is like curling up with a good book and having the pictures in your head come alive before you on stage. The familiar lines from “Scandal in Bohemia” and “The Final Adventure” present themselves as everyday dialogue from the talented actors. The play itself is a melding of two Arthur Conan Doyle stories involving his nemesis Professor Moriarty and “the” woman in Holmes’ life --- Irene Adler. Just as Holmes is tightening the net and hoping to finally bring Moriarty to justice the King of Bohemia arrives with an intriguing problem for him to solve.
Director Neil Pankhurst does a brilliant job with this production. The set designed by Dan Daly works as everything from the Baker Street flat, Ms. Adler’s drawing room, a church, a city street, Moriarty’s lair and the Richenbach falls. Lighting design by Jason Miller effectively colors each scene. Lori McGinley’s costume design is beautiful. The sound design by the director and props coordinated by Johanna Halperin are all on target.
A. J. Ditty is a fabulous Holmes whether languidly injecting a 7% solution or at his most active when the “game’s afoot” He embodies the best qualities of Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero. Alex Jacobs wonderfully portrays Doctor Watson as friend, biographer and stalwart sidekick. Richard Brundage plays Professor Moriarty to a “t”. Intelligent, clever and so very, very evil. He is an excellent villain. Jonathan Weber is a regal King of Bohemia, larger than life, passionate and very class conscious. Irene Adler is beautifully acted by Rebecca A. K. Turner displaying just the right touch of emotion in each facet of the role. James Larrabee (aka Godrey Norton) is well-played by Nicholas Wilder, who seamlessly changes from ardent lover to “bad guy”.
I believed both sides of his character. Donna Schilke as Madge Larrabee (aka Marie) effortlessly shifts from French maid to bereft widow to villainous sister-in-law. Chamelon Kevin Killavey is believable whether as a London Bobby, elderly minister, Swiss policeman or Moriarty henchman Sid Prince. Youngest actress S. K. Pankhurst was delightful as the postboy and young Swiss man garnering audience applause at each appearance.
While vacationing in the beautiful New Hampshire Lakes region be sure to make time to attend a performance of “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure” at the beautiful new air-conditioned Winnipesaukee playhouse. It’s elementary!