Holmes Parody Features Small Cast, Stripped Stage
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 12:09
Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most famous fictional detective, is coming to The Stage at Island Park. Well, sort of.
Presented by Bare Stage Theatre, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmesian classic, will bring the celebrated detective, his cohort Dr. Watson and all the other original characters onstage in a parody of interesting proportions: three actors, 18 characters, no fixed set.
“It’s a lot of trying to imagine places, because we try to do as little—well, it’s been more props and more set than normal—but we try to do as little as possible just because we do our shows at The Stage at Island Park,” co- director Shanara Lassig said. “And so we try to just be able to move in on Sunday and do the shows and then move out as quickly as possible so everything is most of the time on wheels, but it’s a lot of imagining. The audience has to do a lot of imagining.”
“We don’t have one set piece this year that stays onstage. The actors bring everything on and off,” added co-director David Lassig.
Actors Evan Christie, Jeremy Ellsworth and Mark Seeba are put to the test of juggling nearly 20 characters throughout the thickly scripted, 100-minute show. Rehearsals since early August have been preparing them for the task at hand, one that has proven very interesting since it comes with a little creative license.
“One thing that happens a lot is that the actors will actually get out of character, and they’ll talk to themselves onstage as themselves,” Shanara Lassig said. “So they’ll call each other Mark and Jeremy and Evan, and besides that, the actors have characters themselves as themselves. Because, like for example, Evan, he’s a really, really humble guy, but he acts like the diva in this show, and he’s not at all. So that’s one thing; that they kind of take on a different persona as themselves, which is kind of funny, because that’s how the script was written, is that way.”
“Thinking about the script, is that it says right in there, if you want to add something or take something out, you’re free do it,” Dave Lassig added.
Christie, Ellsworth and Seeba also play off the audience at points in the show, cracking jokes or just making for a really unique moment. With a story that is a celebrated mystery and not comedic in any way, there is no doubt that audiences are in for a memorable retelling of an old classic.
“[I]t’s just a different way of looking at it and just kind of a silly way,” Shanara Lassig said. “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are such iconic characters. They’re not doing them in a disrespectful way or anything like that, they’re still very iconic, and still you’re like ‘Ooh! Sherlock Holmes! John Watson! Ooh!’ But at the same time, it’s adding that little spin that makes it funny because ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ is not a funny book. It’s very serious, but it’s fun. It’s a great mystery.”
“The Hound of the Baskervilles” is 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 to 21 and 26 to 28, and Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. presented by Bare Stage Theatre at The Stage at Island Park at 333 4th St. S. Advanced tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students. Tickets are available on The Stage website and by phone at (701) 235-6778.