” My evening at the theater has been spoiled”. This is a line in tonight’s Broadway In Chicago’s “Sherlock Holmes”, an original adaptation by Greg Kramer that was of course inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tales. These books and movies are indeed classical, and have a huge following of loyal fans, many of whom probably already ordered their tickets for this one week production on the stage of The Oriental Theatre. To those people, I must say, sorry!
Directed by Andrew Shaver, this tour de force just never quite decides if it is a drama or comedy. Is it a mystery or a mockery of the great character we have all grown to love. David Arquette does a better than reasonable job in portraying his character, Sherlock Holmes, but the script doesn’t do the role justice. James Maslow is a bright and cheery Dr. Watson, who starts the play with cane in hand, but ends up being in far better shape by the second act. The Heroine (or is she the villainess) Lady Irene St. John (charmingly played by Renee Olstead, who has an English accent, but her character is American) is either the victim of foul play or has joined with arch enemy Professor Moriarty (Kyle Gatehouse handles this role with a special affectation) to take over her “late” husband’s role in the government.
The other cast members in this overlong non-musical production are talented blokes (a bit of English flavor) fighting hard to entertain an audience that keeps looking at their watches. Patrick Costello, Graham Cuthbertson, Matt Gagnon, Barbara Gordon, Karl Graboshas, Trent Pardy and Amy Rutherford. Nice try kids! You ate least did not blow your lines, although it might have been better to have improvised a bit to keep the story moving. The story deals with the ending of the opium wars. Jack The Ripper is gone! Scotland Yard is a novel idea! All havoc in London and only one place to turn- 221-B Baker Street, the one and only Sherlock Holmes.
It is hard to believe that this show did a blockbuster business in Montreal when it opened in 2013. It is now heading on tour over the states and based on what I saw tonight, perhaps they should consider cutting this tour short. There is nothing exciting about this 2 hours of supposed comedy. The set was designed by the man who gave us Cirque du Soleil (James Lavoie). Too bad, he was not as creative with this one. For more information on this show (why would anyone want any more) visit www.sherlockholmesonstage.com
Meanwhile, this production will remain on the stage at The Oriental Theatre located at 24 West Randolph Street through the 29th with performances as follows:
Thursday Turkey Day-NO PERFORMANCE
Friday 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 2 and 8 p.m.
Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets range from $21-$87 and can be purchased at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, by calling the Broadway In Chicago Ticketline at 800-775-2000. at all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Sherlock Holmes”