June 20--SEASIDE -- There's nothing elementary about the Seaside Repertory Theatre's main stage summer production of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" except for all the time you'll spend laughing during it.
From the versatile set and quick costume changes to the snappy verbal and physical dexterity of the actors, this hilarious remake of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous Sherlock Holmes story is not to be missed.
The show opened June 13, and performances continue at 7:30 Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through Aug. 3 in the company's home theater at 216 Quincy Circle.
A special sneak preview performance for invited guests drew hearty laughter from the appreciative audience. The flow of witty dialogue kept everyone on the alert for the next comedic gem.
Directed by Scott Stackhouse and adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson for Peepolykus, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" revolves around a murder mystery replete with dramatic intrigue, fateful possibilities and a ghostly legend using only three actors to play all of the characters.
When Sir Charles Baskerville (played by Kyle Walter) is found dead on his estate with a look of terror on his face and a gigantic paw print beside his body, the great detective Sherlock Holmes (played by Brook Stetler) is summoned from his London home on Baker Street. Faithful assistant Dr. John Watson (played by Alan Daugherty) accompanies him.
Stetler, Daugherty and Walter, who plays the very much alive Sir Henry Baskerville for most of the show, inhabit their characters to perfection. Even when they break the fourth wall, speaking directly to the audience as themselves, for laughs, the attributes of their characters remain intact. It's an impressive accomplishment.
In addition to his brilliant Holmes, Stetler portrays five more characters, including two women. Likewise, Walter portrays four other characters when he isn't one of the two Baskervilles.
While Daugherty plays only one additional character, it's easy to see why: His Dr. Watson is in nearly every scene, the common denominator between Holmes and Henry Baskerville. An especially funny and ingeniously staged scene between Henry and Dr. Watson takes place during a train trip.
The set design is noteworthy in its spare yet clever utility. One moment it's evocative of the desolate moors, complete with ominous fog and softly glowing moon. Then, in an instant, it's the drawing room of the Baskerville mansion, boasting a fireplace and mantel clock.
The show runs about two hours including a 15-minute intermission. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at Amavida Coffee, online at seasiderep.org or by calling 850-231-0733.
"The Hound of the Baskervilles" is only one of the programs The Rep is offering this summer. Others are:
?Camp Showtime through Aug. 9 for ages third grade and up at the Seaside Repertory Theatre. Cost is $30 per session or $75 for all three sessions. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-231-0733.
?"James the Giant Peach" at 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Aug. 19 at the Seaside Amphitheatre. Free admission.
?Stories by the Sea at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday through Aug. 16 at the Seaside Lyceum Archway. Free admission.
?Adventures in Alys at 10 a.m. Monday and Thursday through Aug. 8 at Fonville Press in Alys Beach. Free admission.
?Awkward Oxen Improv Workshop at 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 7 at Fonville Press in Alys Beach.
?Awkward Oxen Improv Hour at 2 p.m. June 21, July 5 and 19 and Aug. 2 at Fonville Press in Alys Beach. Tickets are $10 at the door.
?"The Amazing Adventures of the Marvelous Monkey King" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 7 in North Barrett Square at Rosemary Beach. Free admission.
?Once Upon a Thyme at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays through Aug. 9 in South Barrett Square at Rosemary Beach. Free admission.
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