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Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure On Stage at 2nd Space

IN THE January 8 ISSUE

FROM THE 2020 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrance V. Mc Arthur,
andTheatre
SECTIONS

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Irene Adler + Professor Moriarty + The King of Bohemia + Dr. John Watson = Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, now playing at the Good Company Players’ 2nd Space Theatre through February 23.

Elementary, isn’t it?

The Steven Dietz adaptation of the 1899 William Gillette play (which introduced the line, “Elementary, my dear Watson,” which was not in the original stories; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was also listed as a playwright, since much of the dialogue was lifted intact from the published Holmes adventures) blends a lot of the Irene Adler story of “A Scandal in Bohemia” with the schemes of the nefarious Moriarty from “The Final Problem” into an evening of Thrills, Laughter, and …dare I say it…? Romance.

Holmes (Gordon Moore) is hot on the trail of that “Napoleon of crime,” Moriarty (Kelly Ventura) with the help of Dr. Watson (Henry Montelongo), but his plans are interrupted by the about-to-be-wed King of Bohemia (Landon Weiszbrod), who needs to get pictures held by his one-time paramour, Adler (Jessica Rose Knotts). The game is afoot, as all the characters slip in and out of peril until a final confrontation in Switzerland.

mystery theatre

Watson (Henry Montelongo) and Sherlock Holmes (Gordon Moore)

It’s lively fun for the audience, and a rare treat for Holmes aficionados, who will recognize moments, lines, and twists with delight.

Moore and Montelongo return to the GCP roles they played in 2017’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. Moore doesn’t need to rely on his trademark rubber-faced expressions; his Holmes is confident, serene, and only allows himself a wise, surreptitious smile from time to time. Take Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, and Robert Downey Jr., roll them into a ball, and toss them out the window; Moore is his own Holmes, and it is a worthy one. Montelongo is big, but not blustery; his surprise when he discovers that he has been conversing with Holmes in disguise is more delight than exasperation. The two work together like a well-oiled, long-term partnership…just like Holmes and Watson should be.

Knotts is tall, graceful, and sumptuously costumed by Ginger Kay Lewis Reed. She is easily accepted as an operatic diva who attracts men…including Holmes. Ventura gleefully oozes villainy, as confident in his perfidy as Holmes is in his sense of being on the side of the law. He is becoming a useful addition to the GCP roster.

Irene (Jessica Rose Knotts), Moriarty (Kelly Ventura), and Holmes (Gordon Moore)

Chase Stubblefield, Erica Riggs, and Joseph Ham get to be menacing and inefficient as Moriarty’s associates who do most of the real dirty work; Moriarty is too cool to get his hands dirty. Stubblefield waxes oily and wanes panicky. Riggs plays a woman who thinks she’s more in control of the gang than she is. Ham is charming as a comic-relief henchman who blithely reveals his work as a cold-blooded killer. Rounding out the cast is Anthony Johnson as any character that might be needed, and Maria Monreal and Haylie Weakley as the maid/stagehands who smoothly rearrange pieces of David Pierce’s artfully aged set to take the audience from one locale to another.

Left to right Sid Prince (Joseph Ham), Sherlock (Gordon Moore), Madge Larrabee (Ericka Riggs), and James Larrabee (Chase Stubblefield)

Karan Johnson’s direction lulls the mind into believing all this madness could be happening. If you have to be tricked and misled by a mystery, this is a wonderful way to do it.

The 2nd Space Theatre is at 928 E. Olive Ave. in Fresno. For tickets and further information, go to www.gcplayers.com, or call (559) 266-9494, or check out KRL’s Good Company Players event page.

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and also on podbean. Kelly Ventura is featured in 2 episodes.

Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He is a librarian with Fresno County Public Library.

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