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EMAV Review: Vegas Theatre Co. serves up a delicious mystery with 'Holmes & Watson' ★★★★

★★★★☆ - Delicious

What is it about mysteries that we love so much? The satisfaction of cracking the case? The fun? The challenge? Or the sense of accomplishment when you reach the end? Well, you’ll need all your wits about ya’ to even come close to solving this one (in 85 minutes). The game is afoot, at Vegas Theatre Company.

Sherlock Holmes has not been seen for more than three years and is presumed dead following his confrontation with Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls. Dr. Watson is called upon to disprove the many frauds, fakes and charlatans who have popped up claiming to be Holmes. Suddenly…a newspaper clipping arrives… and, we’re off!

Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s ingenious new thriller, Holmes & Watson, received its World Premiere at Arizona Theatre Company in 2017, and gets its Vegas premiere featuring strong and very capable ensemble members.

Marcus Weiss is both a classic and formidable Watson, accepted and trusted in the role from the outset as the person closest to Holmes – and his friend -- Watson is engaged to discover which of the three Sherlock Holmes(es) is the real one. Daz Weller plays Dr. Evans -- the man who has taken it upon himself to solve the case of The Three Sherlock Holmes and has requested the aid of Watson.

Geo Nikols is Patient 1, the first of the three Holmes to be interviewed. He presents the demeanor we expect of Holmes, but is brusque and rather forward with Watson -- and extremely volatile. Christopher Brown is a scruffy, wild-looking Patient 2, who is restless and exhibits the skeptical nature of Sherlock (and wears a straitjacket). Jonas Woolverton is Patient 3, whose head is shaved, does not speak, nor does he appear to hear. His gaze is always forward as he seems to be in a catatonic state.

Maythinee Washington is the prim, chilly Matron. Bryan Todd is The Orderly, one of Dr. Evans’s assistants.

To reveal more would spoil the bombshell revelation. Suffice to say Hatcher's engaging drama keeps the audience guessing. That’s truly all that can be told without giving away the tumultuous twists, turns and corkscrews of this plot. A plea arrives from a mental asylum on a lonely island off the Scottish coast. The doctor in charge reports having not one but three Sherlock Holmes(es) in his care -- or rather, inmates who claim to be him. Can Watson help sort it out -- and is there a chance one of these mysterious men might be the true Holmes?

Briskly directed by Andrew Paul this suspenseful thriller is a thoroughly entertaining production. Ellen Bone's temperamental lighting fits the mood changes throughout and balances Angela Baughman's dark and stormy sound effects. The action unfolds smoothly on set designer Daz Weller's dungeon-like 12th century fortess and costume designs by Hailey Eakle genuinely reflect the period.

Join the Baker Street Irregulars in this dynamic new installment to the never-ending saga of Sherlock and Doctor John through December 8th at Art Square Theatre, 1025 S 1st St #110, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89101.

Jeffrey Hatcher is one of Minnesota’s premier playwrights. Regionally, his plays have been performed at Yale Rep, Old Globe, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Intiman, Florida Stage, The Empty Space, CTC, Madison Rep, Illusion, Denver Center, OSF, ASF, Milwaukee Rep, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, ATL, Philadelphia Theater Company, Coconut Grove, Asolo, City Theater, Studio Arena and dozens more in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights’ Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists.


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