SPOOFING SHERLOCK WITH STYLE


By Bonnie Goldberg

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was a great storyteller who used his medical background to instill powerful investigative skills in his major character, the sterling detective Sherlock Holmes. Holmes relied on science, facts and evidence to solve intriguing crimes.

When Doyle killed off Holmes in his novel "The Final Problem," the public screamed indignation and their outrage forced him to resurrect him. Doyle claimed Holmes had faked his own death and "The Hound of the Baskervilles" was the result.

Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, until Sunday, December 22, is putting on a delightful and fun spin on this classic tale of mystery with its spoof filled adaptation by Steve Canny and John Nicholson. A trio of talented actors Rich Hollman, Sean Harris and Brennan Caldwell leap into the moor and mire with reckless abandon and merry mirth as they create all the characters in this dastardly and fascinating tale of murder and mayhem.

Like the Three Stooges, without bats on the head or pies in the face, these three act out all the action surrounding the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville. Did he die of a heart attack or was he frightened to death by a ferocious and diabolical animal, a hound?

 Sir Henry Baskerville has traveled from Canada to claim his inheritance, as the only known living heir, but warnings keep popping up. The family has been cursed for generations since Sir Hugo kidnapped a young maiden and held her against her will. When she escaped, Sir Hugo traded his soul to the devil to get her back.

Now his ancestors are paying the price for his dishonorable deeds and Sherlock Holmes and Watson are busy weíghing evidence, calculating deductions, evaluating clues and discussing observations. They don't need your help but you're welcome to try. The fun chase is on from London to Dartmoor, by hansom cab, train and horseback, with the hounds literally at your feet. Beware of the quick sand and don't trust anyone. Just enjoy the inspired direction of Tom Ridgely and laugh heartily.

Call for tickets ($22.50-32.50 ), Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford at 860-523-5900, ext. 10 or www.PlayhouseOnPark.org. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

With the shadow of the great William Gillette, who rose to fame as the Connecticut actor who gave Sherlock Holmes his theatrical face, looming large, come enjoy this delightful spin on an ancient classic, courtesy of Playhouse on Park

 

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