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February 19, 2013 > Theatre Review: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure

Theatre Review: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure

By Jessica Noel Flohr
Photos By Terri Sullivan

"Sherlock Holmes is dead!" Thus begins the chronicle of the final case of the famous detective pair, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. "The game is afoot," and mystery and romance abound in Steven Dietz's adaptation of William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original 1899 play, "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure." The play combines two of Doyle's short stories, "The Final Problem," and "Scandal in Bohemia," to create an intriguing drama for the stage.

The beloved stories of Holmes and Watson are now over one hundred years old, with the first story making its appearance in publication in 1887. The Bloodhound of Baker Street, one of Holmes' nicknames, was the feature of over 50 short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and four novels. Holmes is a very eccentric fellow, rarely entangled in romantic affairs, and possesses keen powers of observation. As Holmes says to Watson, "You see all that I see, but you do not observe." Fans of police dramas will find similarities between Holmes and Mentalist hero, Patrick Jane.

The Final Adventure serves as the opening act to Douglas Morrison Theatre's 2013 to 2014 season of mystery and romance. Opening night drew an appreciative crowd. The cast of eight gave a great performance, sure to delight any fan of the historical literary hero. Scott Hartman was especially on pointe with his presentation of Doctor Watson. Watson serves as Holmes' dear friend, sidekick in detective work, and the narrator of many of Holmes' stories.

In this particular adventure, the notorious Professor Moriarty, whom Holmes somewhat admires for his scholarly treatises, is the head of a criminal ring in London. Moriarty seeks to destroy Holmes and Holmes is trying to line up the evidence to see Moriarty arrested for his crimes. Alongside this issue, the King of Bohemia contacts Holmes in an effort to retrieve a compromising photograph that could be used to blackmail him at his upcoming wedding. Complicating matters is the fact that Holmes is enamored with the owner of the photograph-the King's former lover-an American opera singer named Irene Adler.

Miss Adler turns out to be a match of wits for Holmes and is not fooled by his disguises and attempts to retrieve the photograph. Heartbroken by the rejection of the King, Adler hastily marries an attorney by the name of Godfrey Norton, who is actually in cahoots with the dastardly Professor Moriarty. Moriarty uses Miss Adler to lure Holmes into his web, intending to bring and end to the good detective. How will this romance play itself out in the end? Is this the last we've heard of Sherlock Holmes?

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure is playing now through March 10 at the Douglas Morrison Theatre, tucked away in the Hayward hills. The theatre is warm and inviting and every seat offers and excellent view of the action on stage. Artistic director Susan E. Evans, director Kendall Tieck, and all the supporting crew have done a wonderful job of bringing a bit of historical English literature to the American stage. Bring a little mystery and romance to your early spring and support a fabulous theatre group at the same time.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure
Feb 15 to Mar 10
Fridays and Saturdays: 8 p.m.
Sundays: 2 p.m.
Douglas Morrison Theatre
22311 North Third St., Hayward
(510) 881-6777
Tickets: $10 to $29

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