Addison’s Water Tower Theater staged Ken Ludwig’s “The Game’s Afoot” over the holiday season, so what better way to celebrate than to see it with a group of like-minded Sherlockians. That is exactly what The Crew of the Barque LONE STAR did last Saturday night. Three-quarters of a dozen attended the play (that is nine for those mathematically challenged). It was the first time I had seen the play and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Dallas Morning News slightly slammed it for not being a Sherlock Holmes play but those in the know, are perfectly aware of the major role William Gillette played in the Holmes mythos.
Anyone lucky enough to have visited the Gillette Castle in East Haddem, Connecticut, would have appreciated the set. My wife Joyce and I recognized the front room of the castle straight away. The wood and stone interior is very distinct and difficult to miss. The play takes place inside the front room of the castle, where Gillette is recovering from a gunshot wound suffered on stage of the final performance as Sherlock Holmes in New York City. He invites the cast members to his castle for a Christmas weekend. When one of the guest is stabbed in the back, Gillette dons his Sherlock Holmes persona to find the killer. The hilarity is non-stop.
|Front room of Gillette's Castle|
Director Robin Armstrong steers actors Greg Holt as William Gillette, Allyn Carrel (Martha Gillette), Randy Pearlman (Felix Geisel), Sherry Hopkins (Daria Chase) and the rest of the cast through tightly staged scenes where timing is of the essence. The entire production came off flawlessly. Even the non-Sherlockians attending laughed and applauded at all of the right spots.
Afterwards, those brave enough to stay up past 10 pm, migrated to The Lion & Crown, a local pub with extremely loud music blared out at us as we walked in, however, good Sherlockian Karma set in because we were afforded our own private room with a pool table. We ate, drank and acted merry before settling down to some Sherlockian business discussions. Tim Kline, Joe Fay, Steve and Pam Mason, and Joyce and yours truly rounded out the group of late night revelers. We ended the evening discussing the upcoming Birthday Celebration Weekend in New York City over a few pints of the local brew.
|Exterior of GIllette's Castle|