(Alexandria, MN) Five actors, dozens of characters combined with the wit of comedic genius Ken Ludwig and you have "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery." The play is coming to the Andria Theatre stage this Friday (Jan. 11).
Director Claudia Bursch has had to make several key decisions during rehearsals for the show. The first came when she decided to fill the role of Sherlock Holmes with the talents of Caroline Petefish. Claudia did not originally intend to cast the lead role with a woman, but as part of an exercise during auditions she had Petefish read the part of Sherlock. Her reading of the famous sleuth's lines gave her great pause, and Petefish got the part. The second major decision came not long ago, when the actor playing the part of Watson, regrettably had to back out of the production. Long-time area actor Pete Woit was called upon to fill the role and in short-order has seamlessly picked up the part.
The other three actors don't even have an official "part" to play, because they each are playing MANY parts. Cathy Snyder, for instance, plays 14 different roles; some during the same scene. Jake Stone and Quincy Roers are also called upon to morph into many different characters, accents, cadences AND COSTUMES, throughout the performance.
Snyder says the fact that Ken Ludwig is the person who adapted the Baskerville script, gave her the confidence it would be mad-capped, entertaining, and challenging. The Hound of the Baskervilles was converted under Ludwig's brilliant supervision. It's conversion will leave audiences with a hilarious, fast-paced who-done-it laden with dazzling text and matching non-verbals. With Sherlock Holmes on the case the heirs of the Baskerville line are being slain, one by one. To find the clever killer, Holmes and Watson must brave the deserted moors before a family curse dooms its newest heir.
During the January 9th Openline program on KXRA, Petefish, Synder and Bursch talk about the play, the characters, the actors, the crew and themselves. Here (in two parts) is that program:
Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery plays JANUARY 11-12 AND 18-19 AT 7:30 P.M. and JANUARY 13 AND 20 AT 2:00 P.M. For ticket information, go to their website, stop in during box office hours M-F 11a-5p (and an hour before showtime), or call (320) 762-8300.
The production is sponsored by KXRA/KX92/Z99 and VoiceofAlexandria.com.