By Kathy Carpenter
North Coast Repertory Theatre Presents the World Premiere of “The Remarkable Mister Holmes.” This is an outrageous encounter of the beloved Sherlock, singing, dancing, and deducting, his way into our hearts. Mel Brooks was the creator of broad farces and parodies, and creators Omri Schein and David Ellenstein, take a page from his book bringing us a fresh, fabulous, and funny Holmes. Sir Conan Doyle created the complex character of Sherlock Holmes to solve crimes, with nary a thought of singing, musicals, and fun. Schein and Ellenstein take us on a different kind of adventure and we still get to solve a crime.
For this plot Watson is absent. He has gone off to South America to claim a mine that has been bequeathed to him. In his stead sister Shelia comes to stay with Holmes. Holmes has met his match. The chemistry is much like Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle from”My Fair Lady.” I loved this aspect of the play.
When Inspector Lestrade comes to Sherlock with a case, Sheila insists on coming along. Together they work to solve the case. The musical is filled with colorful fun characters, and surprises around every corner.
Director David Ellenstein assembled an amazing cast with Bart Shatto, as Sherlock Holmes. Sharon Rietkerk, plays Shelia Watson. She is a bright light shining among a talented cast, a treasure. Lestrade is played by Tony Perry. Seen on the New York stage, he brings his powerful baritone to the mix. Deborah Gilmore Smith, a local legend, with her diverse talents took on Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock’s housekeeper and assorted roles. Katy Tang plays the adorable Phyllis and several other roles to showcase her talent. Other portraying multiple roles, the beloved San Diego legend Phil Johnson, who plays the colorful role of Gustav Von Schwartz. His counterpart, Gerda Von Schwartz, played by Katie Karel, is wonderful. Andrew Ableson is definitely an incredible character actor. Rounding out the cast is the multi-talented David Mcbean. This is a high-caliber team delivering high-caliber entertainment
Daniel Lincoln is all things music, composer, orchestrator and musical director. There are twenty one incredible songs. I’m positive we will be hearing his name a lot in the future.
The set is remarkable, of course. There is Holmes study where one could picture Conan Doyle’s Holmes at home here, surrounded by the things he loves. I especially enjoyed the portrait. And then we have what I’m terming the magic doors. Over this past season of theatre they have become characters themselves. In this case I want to give a shout out to the man that built them, Marty Burnett. They are extreme works of art.
Come enjoy this fanciful look at classic character. The game is afoot.
The Remarkable Mister Holmes
July 20 – August 21, 2022
North Coast Repertory Theatre
987 Lomas Santa Fe Dr. Suite D
Anabella In July
Sep. 7 – Oct. 2, 2022