Monday, November 30, 2015

Review of Sherlock Holmes at the Oriental Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Sherlock Holmes. It was written by Greg Kramer based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was directed by Andrew Shaver. It was about a man named Sherlock Holmes (David Arquette) who was a detective and he had assistant named Watson (James Maslow) and they go on a bunch of different adventures involving murder, drug dealing, and false information. Their client is Lady Irene St.-John (Renee Olstead). This play took a lot of things from Sherlock Holmes stories, but it still didn't feel like I was watching one of the Sherlock Holmes stories come to life because they kind of just threw a bunch of ideas at you really close together without making a compelling story. I really love Sherlock Holmes stories, but this one wasn't really for me.

The story wasn't easy to follow because they kept going on different missions in the middle of other missions. And then they would go back to the missions, and it was hard to tell what they were really investigating. The show seemed way too long, so they could have compacted it and had fewer stories in it. In Sherlock Holmes stories there is humor, but it is quirky and dark humor. In this play it was more goofy, falling-down kind of humor, which is not the kind of humor that I want in a show about Sherlock Holmes. The humor in the stories comes from the weird ways Holmes figures out crimes in an insanely smart way and it also comes from how Holmes snaps into a different personality just like that and how Watson over time just sees that as normal, which is pretty funny. But the humor wasn't very complex in this play. Sherlock Holmes' personality was also very different in this show from what it says in the books. Sherlock Holmes' personality in this play is very different from what I expected. I expected him to be smart, funny, cunning, and being able to switch personalities and moods on the spot. I expected focused energy, not jumping up and down kind of energy. This Sherlock Holmes seemed more like a Mad Hatter character than Sherlock Holmes because he was very one-noted, chipper, and smug. He did have some darkness, but not the kind I wanted from Sherlock Holmes.

Mrs. Hudson (Barbara Gordon) was one of my favorite parts of the show. She was very funny and she was exactly what I though she would be like. She was very motherly but like a boss, which is so fabulous and amazing. There was this cab ride where Holmes and Watson and Lestrade (Patrick Costello) were being driven by Mrs. Hudson to capture Moriarty. Mrs. Hudson had the deerstalker cap on and then Sherlock Holmes tried it on and I thought it was cool that that was kind of a sneak peak of what his classic outfit would look like in the future. I did like how they had other strong female characters like Lady Irene and Orchid (Ana Parsons). They both were powerful and had a big parts in the play, which they do have a lot in the Sherlock Holmes stories. But because these characters were doing a lot of the broad humor that was a big part of the play that I didn't care for, I didn't end up connecting with the characters a lot.

People who would like this show are people who like slapstick, sassy landlady cab drivers, and unusual takes on classic characters. If you don't care much about adaptation, you will probably like this show better than I liked it. I hope that they can make some improvements for the show because everybody loves Sherlock Holmes and they have some female characters with a lot of potential.

Photos: Brian To

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