Thursday, May 18, 2017

review - HOLMES & WATSON - Arizona Theatre Company

the cast
photo by Tim Fuller
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through May 28th.

"... Arizona Theatre Company production of Holmes & Watson, a new mystery adventure from playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, ...Hatcher’s Holmes & Watson has a continuing cinematic feel throughout, beginning with a startling 3D projection of a train engine arriving at a station.... Dr. Watson (R. Hamilton Wright)....has arrived on a remote Scottish island...his host, the somewhat suspicious Dr. Evans (Philip Goodwin)...The plot is simple, which is good because other than the setup, the less you know going in, the better your enjoyment. ...In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1893 short story, The Adventure of the Final Problem, Sherlock Holmes and his enemy Professor Moriarty grappled together atop of the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. They fell to their deaths. At least, that’s what was always believed, but no bodies were ever found. Our new adventure picks up three years later. Watson is asked to drop everything and journey from London to Scotland’s coast, to an asylum. It seems there are three patients there, all under lock and key, and all insisting they are the famous private detective, Sherlock Holmes...so it’s up to Watson to journey north alone and identify which one, if any, is the real Sherlock Holmes. And that’s all that can be told....with Holmes & Watson, Hatcher not only succeeds in keeping us guessing right up until that violin fade, he’s also written a crowd-pleaser....director David Ira Goldstein has crafted a piece of theatre that plays out like the movies, and for this material, that’s a plus....Told in 90 minutes without intermission, Holmes and Watson is a thorough delight..the play reaches out and grips..." -David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage (click here to read the complete review)

"Jeffrey Hatcher's 2011 play Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club which premiered at Arizona Theatre Company. His latest thriller, Holmes and Watson, also focuses on the famous detective and his friend Dr. Watson, and is receiving its world premiere at ATC. This is a truly smashing play full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Arizona Theatre's production features an outstanding cast and some stunning creative elements....It's been almost three years since Holmes' duel with Professor Moriarty that left both men presumed dead after falling into the forceful waters at Reichenbach Falls. But is Holmes dead or did he just disappear? ...Now, three.. men all claim to be Holmes, and Watson is summoned to an asylum on a remote island to determine which, if any, is actually the famous detective. Hatcher has crafted an intelligent mystery thriller...a drama filled with both intrigue and humor. ...very smartly written with no forced or false plot reveals and a play that I believe would be just as enjoyable on a second viewing to see how intelligently Hatcher builds and foreshadows the twists. While Hatcher's Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club was a good play, his Holmes and Watson is a great one. The ATC cast, under David Ira Goldstein's smart and swift direction, deliver superb portrayals....The combination of John Ezell's excellent two tiered set design...with the stunning animated projections by Jeffrey Teeter...with Don Darnutzer's lush lighting and Brian Jerome Peterson's chilling sound design results in some stunning stage images. Matthew LeFebvre's costume designs are equally as good, providing both period touches and mysterious elements. Full of intrigue as well as a few big laughs, Holmes and Watson is a very worthy addition to the many Sherlock Holmes stage and film adaptations. With an excellent cast and spot on production elements, Arizona Theatre Company's production is exceptional and a fitting end to the company's 50th anniversary season. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"... playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s world premiere tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous British detective, “Holmes and Watson,” keeps you intrigued as a succession of unexpected twists and turns results in an unforeseen finale....lets Hatcher again use the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes as his faithful sidekick John Watson explores the legend of Holmes reported death.  Watson investigates three men all claiming to be the detective and determines if they are imposters or the fabled person.  ... Directed with finesse and elan by David Ira Goldstein, and designed with impeccable style, a superb cast makes the play dazzle." --Chris Curcio, KBAQ (click here to read the complete review)

"...which among three seeming lunatics actually is the man he claims to be: the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes? That’s the premise of “Holmes and Watson,” a world-premiere mystery .....The writer, Jeffrey Hatcher, is well schooled in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional world...“Holmes and Watson” is very traditional, a locked-room mystery driven by jousting dialogue and carefully constructed plot twists. It’s plenty entertaining, but only in expected ways....evokes the gothic-Victorian ambience that Conan Doyle fans will expect ..The performances are compelling...Hatcher is too astute a writer to have just one trick up his sleeve, and the face-value mystery is just the first layer of a more complicated puzzle box....There’s not much of interest going on in terms of character development or deeper themes..But if you’re a mystery fan with a hankering for comfort food, it satisfies."Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

"...In Jeffrey Hatcher's wildly enthralling and masterfully penned HOLMES AND WATSON, it falls to the discerning supersleuth's assistant and chronicler to ascertain who among three claimants to Sherlock's identity is (pardon the expression) the real McCoy. That anyone should purport to be Holmes is in itself a mystery, given that he and his nemesis, Dr. Moriarty, fell to their deaths (or did they?) at Reichenbach Falls. ...David Ira Goldstein's brilliance and artistic vision shines through every moment of what is a thoroughly engrossing and imaginatively staged experience. It is a marvelous valedictory.... Goldstein, cast, and crew ~ in an auspicious partnership with the playwright ~ do righteous honor to his work and advance HOLMES AND WATSON to what is indubitably an a-mazing must-see cliffhanger." - Herbert Paine, Broadway World

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