Friday, November 13, 2015

Review of E.D.G.E Theater's Holmes vs. Holmes

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Holmes vs. Holmes. It was written by Bill Daniel and it was directed by Orion Couling. It was about H.H. Holmes (Bill Daniel) who was a real murderer in the late 1800s during the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He would seduce young women and make them trust him and then he would murder them...just like a polite gentleman always should do! And Sherlock Holmes (T. Isaac Sherman) is trying to help Frank Geyer (Lucas Thatcher) investigate his murders. So it is a half-true, half-made-up story. This was a really fun and scary show. Some people might think you can't make a really scary show in a small theater, but it makes it even more scary because you are so close to the action. I thought it was well-written and well-acted and it was so blood-curdling and amazing. If you think it will spoil the show for you to find out who dies, than read the review after you see the show. Spoiler alert: almost everybody dies!

The look of the production was very cool and creative and resourceful (set design by Peter McManus and lighting design by Benjamin Dionysis). They had these boxes (by Katelin Thomas) that were on the top of these screens and the boxes would light up with scenes from the Worlds's Fair. My favorite one was the Ferris Wheel; it was so beautiful and neatly crafted. And it was even kind of eerie, which I love. And on the screens, people would stand behind them and light would be projected on it so you could only see the shadows and that was very cool and creepy and very artistic.

All the women that H.H. Holmes murders had their own story and eventually they all wanted the same thing: justice. I liked how all the women had power when they were dead, even though when they were alive they didn't have that much power. Minnie Williams (Erin Gordon) was a very peppy and happy kind of girl and she fell in love with H.H. Holmes. She seemed so sweet and nice that it made it especially sad. Clara Loverling (Sarah Wisterman) was H.H. Holmes' first wife and he seduced her at a party and then he asked to marry her a few seconds after he met her, which I don't think it is very smart to accept that invitation because probably it won't go very well. She probably did it because here was this really smart and charming guy that her parents would approve of and she was probably like, "Well, here's my chance. Let's go." Back in that time, women didn't have many options for work so it would be easier for her if she could just stay home and not have to earn money. Julia Smythe-Connor (Alexandra Cross) was one of the most sad stories because her life was just ruined by this guy and she didn't even notice. It was all happening behind her back and she didn't even have a chance to defend herself or her kid Pearl (Lucinda Lodder Lindstrom). I liked the symbolism of the victims giving their ribbons to Lady Columbia (Genevieve Lally-Knuth) when they died. The ribbons symbolized the connection between the women because even though they all had different patterns on their outfits (costume design by Emma Cullimore), they had the same ribbon. And they were leaving a small bit of them behind.

Everything was very very suspenseful, and you didn't know if someone was going to die in the next few seconds or not. And also, H.H. Holmes was so creepy, I couldn't believe it! It was just his facial expressions and how he killed people. I might have nightmares about that character trying to kill me! The fights were super cool and scary too. Moriarty (Richard Eisloeffel) trained H.H. Holmes to murder people in the "right way," but then Moriarty gets mad at him about the way he kills people and gets into a fight with him with an umbrella sword, and I thought that was really cool. In another cool fight, Sherlock Holmes comes in using a vocal disguise so people don't know that it is him. But then H.H. Holmes realizes that Holmes is Holmes. And then they engage in a one-third verbal, one-third hurting each other, and one-third tea fight. It was so cool! My favorite move was how H.H. Holmes shoved the tea up in Sherlock Holmes's face.

People who would like this show are people who like the Columbian Exposition, murder mysteries, and tea fights. I think that people should definitely go see this show. I thought it was so intriguing and scary. I really enjoyed it!

Photos: Jennifer Frankfurter

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