The actors are readied and the stage is set at the Pierce College Performing Arts Mainstage for the last chapter of London’s greatest fictitious detective. Trading in the deerstalker cap and pipe for a top hat and small pistol, this Holmes is outfitted for a thrilling evening of hunting down well-heeled crime lords.
Ripe with quick wit, sharp humor and suspense, ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure’ lives up to the expectations that come with its name. The play, written by Steven Dietz, was masterfully orchestrated in the hands of director Gene Putnam.
This is not the highly stylized works that have come to invade movie theaters across the country. Instead, this is a play of thoughtfully placed details and mindful banter, for which there is always an ulterior meaning.
Set against the seedy backdrop of Victorian era London, the story begins with news of Sherlock Holmes’s death. Stepping into the warm ruddy glow of a solitary street lamp is Doctor John Watson, portrayed by Sean Spencer.
Sinking into the role without fail, Spencer leads the audience through the events that led up to the detective’s famed “final adventure.”
Sherlock Holmes, played by Anthony Cantrell, has summoned Watson to his flat on 221B Baker Street. His instructions on how to enter the homestead alert the ever aware doctor that something is amiss.
Upon his arrival, Watson is greeted by Holmes who is quick to note how easily Watson has adapted to married life. Their reunion is sweet but short, as Holmes cuts to the chase.
Holmes is in peril, and the man responsible is the brilliant yet sinister Professor James Moriarty.
Professor Moriarty, portrayed by veteran actor, Amir Khalighi, is as ruthless as he is cunning. He is the mastermind behind all crime in the London criminal underworld, and Holmes has become obsessed with bringing him to justice.
It is not long until their conversation is cut short by an unexpected visit from the King of Bohemia, played by Joshua Straschewski. The king has a problem of operatic proportions, and Holmes is the only man capable of taking on the case.
The task seems simple. Retrieve a compromising photo from the beautiful soprano, Irene Adler, before the night of his wedding. However, there is an issue.
Adler, portrayed by the charming Bobbie Candler, does not wish to part with the photo. Instead, she intends to teach the naive king what it means to break the heart of a diva.
Soon, these parallels of blackmail, murder and love overlap to create a web fit for Broadway.
The fleeting glances, the chilling gleam in Moriarty’s eyes, and the genuine connections among the actors speak volumes of the ensembles compatibility and directors ability to bring it to the stage.
From the leading cast to the supporting roles, the world that Sherlock Holmes inhabits is vividly brought to life.
Whether the spotlight be fixed on Leah Foster as the poor flower girl who unexpectedly plays witness to murder, or Spencer Sharp as Moriarty’s cockney speaking lackey, Sid Prince, all parts are perfectly cast.
Aiding the onstage ensemble in this reverie of mystery and intrigue, is a skilled design crew, technical team and managerial staff who have been quick to utilize the unique features offered by the newly remodeled Performing Arts Mainstage.
While they go unseen for the duration of the play, their talents are present in the immersive set design, beautifully detailed costumes and moody lighting and sound effects.
Everything is given the same amount of care and consideration, and it shows in the play’s ability to draw the audience in until the very end.
Whether you’re new to the theater experience or are a seasoned lover of the performing arts, this is a show that cannot be missed. It combines all things Sherlock with fresh talent.
If Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were in the audience, he, like the others on opening night, would fail to find anything to be disappointed with. ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure’ is a tale for all ages and walks of life that will have you gripping your playbill tightly until the final curtain is drawn.
‘Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure’ will be showing at the Pierce College Performing Arts Mainstage from April 22 to May 1. For showtimes and tickets visit brownpapertickets.com or call 818-719-6488.