Sherlockians are in shock!
Holmesians are horrified!
And Watsonians are mystified by the weird absence of their favorite keemosabee.
Fans who suspended their disbelief over the odd array of characters extracted from the Conan Doyle library found themselves entertained by "Sherlock's Veiled Secret." playing at New Dawn Theater in delightful downtown Duluth. Relying on the 60 stories' vague rumors of a Sherlock progeny, the author, one E. C. Brown, whoever he or she is, weaves a bizzare tale around the later comings and goings of Irene Adler, Lady Carrington and Mrs Cyril Morton, all of whom figured in Watson's stories. The single connecting link in the mystery is one Violet Sheridan (Ashley Jones) an aspiring young detective who will never replace the missing physician from Afghanistan.
The on-stage happenings begin with a retired Kent beekeeper (the buzzing of the bees reminds us of his last bow) who looks not a bit like our memory of Baker Street's chief protagonist (Scott Brocato)but acts sufficintly arrogantly to lead us to believe that possibly he might have been - possibly - maybe.
Employing all manner of flashback and intrigue Director Sherry Ingebritsen interchanges youth and age, past and present, and somehow keeps it sort of in timely order. And ties it all together by connecting everything to Holmes's "demise at Reichenbach Falls at the hands of Prof Moriarty."
Once you realize that accurate adherence to the Holmes' canon is not for the evening as a host of Victorian characters and mores parade in and out of the scenery, you have fun watching the emoting and mutterings lurge toward a sort of satisfying climax.
Participate in this parade of Holmesiana with tongue in cheek not expecting any in-depth retrospective, and indeed you will be pleasantly surprised by your willingness to applaud the heros, villains and side bars who have populated this theatrical experience.
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