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Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose Review – Holmes Adaptation Is Fun for the Whole Family

By Jessie Bond

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Raven – Sherlock Holmes 2 - Graham Emmons. Photo by Dean La Prairie

 

Just in time for the holidays, the Raven Theatre opens its fourth annual production of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose. This fun-filled Christmas show is a delight for audience members of all ages.

 

Raven – Sherlock Holmes 1 – L-R Damian Conrad, Graham Emmons. Photo by Dean La Prairie

 

The Raven Theatre first adapted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s only holiday-themed Holmes story, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” to the stage four years ago, with co-artistic director Michael Menendian collaborating with writer John Weagly to create a radio play. The show has since evolved into a full stage production, complete with newly added musical elements, including a few song and dance numbers and an audience sing-along.

 

Raven – Sherlock Holmes 9 – L-R Lane Flores, Leah Frires, Symphony Sanders. Chris Logan, Sarah Hayes, Sophia Menendian, Conor Clark. Photo by Dean La Prairie

 

The radio play element is not lost from the stage production, however. Ensemble members Conor Clark and Leah Frires provided Foley effects from onstage, with recurring bits such as sound of a crackling fire produced with bubble wrap and a lighting gel adding a lovely humor to the show. Indeed, the entire show had a lighthearted, mildly self-referential humor to it, with nods to classic Holmes elements such as his magnifying glass and iconic deerstalker hat (designed in a festive red and green by costume designer Alaina Moore).

 

Raven – Sherlock Holmes 7– L-R Graham Emmons, Damian Conrad. Photo by Dean La Prairie

 

Damian Conrad plays a spirited and engaging Dr. Watson, and Graham Emmons captures the essence of the Conan Doyle hero with his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. Indeed, the entire cast was strong, performing with great energy throughout. Some of my personal favorites were Sarah Hayes, whose hilarious portrayal of Mrs. Breckinridge was a comedic highlight of the show, and Rudy Galvan, who carried the last few scenes of the show with remarkable ability.

 

Raven – Sherlock Holmes 8 – L-R Graham Emmons, Sarah Hayes, Damian Conrad. Photo by Dean La Prairie

 

All the cast members had strong singing abilities as well, which perhaps were not used to their maximum potential in the show’s musical numbers, which were arrangements of traditional Christmas carols disconnected from the plot. Perhaps next year’s production will take the musical elements of the show even further. Still, the music was enjoyable, and without it, the plot, limited by the length of the original short story, might not have filled an entire hour.

 

Raven – Sherlock Holmes 6– L-R Rudy Galvan, Leah Frires, Sophia Menendian, Lane Flores, Conor Clark, Symphony Sanders, Sarah Hayes. Matt Bartholomew. Photo by Dean La Prairie

 

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose is a fun holiday take on a classic Victorian detective story. This family-friendly mystery is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

 

Regular run: December 12, 2014 - January 4, 2015

 

Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 14 at 3:00 pm
Friday, December 19 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 20 at 5:00 and 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 21 at 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm
Friday, December 26 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 27 at 5:00 and 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 28 at 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm
Wednesday, December 31 at 5:00 and 7:30 pm
Thursday, January 1 at 7:30 pm
Friday, January 2 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 3 at 5:00 and 7:30 pm
Sunday, January 4 at 3:00 pm   

 

All performances take place on Raven Theatre's East Stage, 6157 N. Clark

 

Tickets are $20, (Students, Seniors & Raven Subscribers: $15, Previews: $10) 

 

Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre; additional street parking is available

 

Raven Theatre is handicapped accessible

 

Tickets/information: www.raventheatre.com or 773-338-2177

 

Published on Dec 13, 2014

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