Greensburg Civic Theatre's 66th season finale is elementary, my dear Watson
One of the real-life mysteries of Greensburg Civic Theatre's 66th season-ending production of “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Story” May 4-6 is how the director manages five actors portraying more than 40 characters.
Alicia DiPaolo of Manor has it all under control – although she agrees it's a difficult task to direct actors to switch roles quickly and seamlessly.
“We worked hard on this, starting by talking about each character and creating their unique mannerisms, accents and looks,” she says. “Pre-show work for me as a director was making a spreadsheet for all of the characters and where and when they are exiting and entering the stage so I can make sure they have time to get where they need to go.”
During tech week, she asked the actors to make their own lists to confirm her directions and says that “overall, they are doing a fantastic job with everything.”
Michael Temple of Trafford is Sherlock Holmes and Michael Crosby of Greensburg is Watson in Ken Ludwig's humorous take on the famous detective and his partner in crime.
Pamela Lee of Murrysville, Conor McQueen of Kecksburg and Becca Mitchell of Latrobe are listed as Actors One, Two and Three respectively, but in reality they're actors three-40 due to their multiple roles.
Crosby says although this show is a comedy, the author stays true to the classic portrayal of his character.
“Watson is a very grounded, level-headed person,” he says. “Unlike Holmes, Watson hesitates to believe in the fantastical. He believes the world is rational and approaches life with those core beliefs. It is very funny then to see Watson react when he is confronted with the supernatural elements in this story. He has trouble adjusting and making sense of it all.”
The story revolves around the male hairs of the Baskerville line that are being knocked off one-by-one. Holmes and Watson are called on to figure out who's doing the killing before a family curse dooms its newest heir.
“Those that love Sherlock Holmes and the story of the Hound of the Baskervilles will love the funny take on the classic. It retains all of the familiar and essential parts of the story while reinventing it for a farcical comedy,” says Crosby, who returns to the stage after taking nearly a year off from acting.
Ashley Temple of Trafford is stage manager.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.