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Monday, June 12, 2017

Holmes and Watson together again

If you can get to Lake Arrowhead this weekend, I recommend that you enjoy dinner theatre at Tudor house. Their production of The Speckled Band is a must-see. 

A young lady has died, and the coroner can't figure out why. After all the witnesses testify at the inquest, the ruling is natural causes. However, the surviving sister Enid suspects that her stepfather had something to do with it. After two years have elapsed, Dr. Watson suspects that Enid is about to suffer the same fate. Calling upon his old friend Sherlock Holmes, he opens a snake's nest of greed and insanity. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote this play, The Speckled Band, based on his short story of the same title. It is different enough to be interesting to those who are familiar with the story, and familiar enough to be interesting to fans of Sherlock Holmes. Tudor House Players used Conan Doyle's original script with a few ad libs. The casting is superb, and the performances are spot on. 

Holmes and Watson are perfectly cast, with Phil Simmons as a more intelligent Watson than the bumbling role played by Nigel Bruce in the old movies, and Richard Lavin as a more amiable Holmes than Basil Rathbone. Together they allow the audience to share in a few humorous moments while they deceive the villain. 

Dr. Grimesby Rylott, played by David Heisler, will remind you of the villain in the Lakeside Players production of "Gaslight". Soft-spoken when he tries to persuade others to give him what he wants, Rylott can change in a moment to a roaring fiend who brandishes a whip against those who have crossed him or refused him.

In her role as Enid Stoner, the young lady in peril, Madison Siedschlag plays well off Nancy Loesch in her brilliant performance as Mrs. Staunton, the conniving housekeeper. 

Overall, The Speckled Band is fascinating and entertaining, and the performances are brilliant. Tudor House provides a comfortable upscale venue with dinner served by cheerful, competent staff. 

This play is a must-see. 

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