Jul 02, 2008 — Sherlock's Last Case has opened the season at the Depot Theatre in Westport and runs through July 6. Resident theatre critic Connie Meng was at the opening night and has our review.
The Depot Theatre has opened their season with SHERLOCK'S LAST CASE by Charles Marowitz. Filled with disguises, skullduggery and even murder, the play provides enough plot twists for the most avid Holmes fan. The playwright has written the dialogue in the manner of the Holmes stories and it's very effective, if a bit wordy at times. There's also humor, especially in the story of the unlikely death of a soprano killed in a bizarre accident by a concert grand.
Tim Palkovic has made good use of every inch of space for his excellent Baker Street set. His son Matt has designed and built a surprising cuckoo clock. Mr. Palkovic has also come up with a very clever solution for the scene change into the cellar. Gary Burlew's lighting is nicely atmospheric especially for the wine toast, the Act II cellar scene and of course the storm.
Erin E. Rodgers has done a nice job with the period costumes and the wigs. I particularly admired Liza's beige satin jacket and Sherlock's boots and smoking jacket. I also enjoyed the music, which was very appropriate for the material.
As for the actors, Paula Hoza does a terrific Scots dialect as Mrs. Hudson, a role she's too young and attractive for. She has a nice comedic touch. Michael Irvin Pollard also does a fine Cockney dialect as Inspector Lestrade and is thoroughly believable in the role. His exit line in Act II made me giggle.
As Liza, Kari Swenson Riely is quite good with the style and the language, especially when telling the story of her parents. On opening night Ken Glickfeld seemed a bit shaky as Watson. In Act I he played primarily the one note of anxiousness but settled down and was fine in Act II.
Geoffrey Wade is excellent as Holmes, although I would have liked a bit more response to Watson in the Act I cellar scene. He has some wonderful moments of humor such as his rant about age and the imposter scene.
Debra Whitfield has done a nice job of staging and directing, especially considering the brief seven day rehearsal period. The pace is good and it seems as if everyone concerned is enjoying the style. The final scene held our attention, even during the passing of what had to be one of the longest freight trains ever. SHERLOCK'S LAST CASE provides a good evening's entertainment and is an auspicious opening for the Depot Theatre's season.On a scale of one to five, the Depot Theatre's production of SHERLOCK'S LAST CASE gets four and one fourth boxcars. For North Country Public Radio, I'm Connie Meng.