A Great Way to Start the Holiday Season

Actor Terry Edward Moore as Sherlock Holmes. Photo by Erik Stuhaug

For some reason, the holidays are never complete without a good performance or two.

Thankfully, I was able to locate just the right diversion this Christmas – Taproot Theatre is performing “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol.”  (Think Holmes meets Scrooge, with a special appearance of Tiny Tim all grown up.)
I was delighted with the evening.  Terry Edward Moore plays Sherlock Holmes.  If you have read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you will remember when Holmes killed Moriarty.  What happens when you kill your arch nemesis? What happened to Holmes? 

Jesse Notehelfer, as Young Becky,Terry Edward Moore, as Sherlock Holmes, and Aaron Lamb, as Young Holmes. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

This production is a study in the character of a man, and the tranformation that insight can bring.  It isn’t just the Christmas Carol revisited – although you will find three spirits – it has pleasant surprises that bring depth to the characters.
Moore develops the character of Holmes well.  Pam Nolte, as always did a great job – somewhat muted from her recent roles, she brings depth to every character that she plays.
My greatest delights were Aaron Lamb and Eric Riedmann.  I recall really enjoying them before – these young men bring a strength of character performance – and most of all, they play off of the other actors very well.
David Dorrian (Uncle Tim among others), is a solid performer who carries his role without upstaging.  He is particularly gifted at presence – you want to know his story before he ever opens his mouth.
Stephen Grenley was a great surprise.  He played the Inn Keeper in Man of La Mancha last year, and his role here as Watson was a great character change.  He brings a depth of emotion to the stage.  I think his character was particularly well written as well.  When you have great writing and a great actor – well, you get a great performance.
Jesse Notehelfer is so fun.  She is becoming quite the accomplished actress.  With such a strong male cast, her part could have come off as trite, but instead, she held her own and brought a delightful presence to the stage.
Last, but certainly not least, is Alex Robertson.  Robertson played Moriarty, and the second (flamboyant) spirit, among other parts.  I really enjoy Robertson’s versatility.  It is obvious that he throws his whole self into the part – he is able to switch between opposite characters with ease, and plays each to the hilt.
If this play had a drawback, it was in staging.   It was a bit unimaginative – although Pam Nolte did perhaps the best job of using the space.  The sound effects were superb, and I appreciated the difficulty for the lighting team to make a play that takes place primarily at night visible to the audience.
Overall – I really loved this production.  As always, Taproot helps us contemplate life while laughing, crying, and enjoying an incredible evening.
You can buy tickets at Taproot’s Website. Hurry, though – tickets are selling fast.  And God bless us, every one.
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