Westport Country Playhouse Presents Virtual Playreading of Mystery Mashup

The virtual event is set for Monday, February 22, at 7 p.m., and on-demand from Tuesday, February 23 through Sunday, February 28 at 10 p.m.

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Westport Country Playhouse will present a virtual Script in Hand playreading of "A Sherlock Carol," a new, mystery mashup featuring familiar characters from the literature of Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens. Written and directed by Mark Shanahan, co-curator with Anne Keefe of the Script in Hand series, the virtual event is set for Monday, February 22, at 7 p.m., and on-demand from Tuesday, February 23 through Sunday, February 28 at 10 p.m. Running time is 108-minutes, including intermission. Virtual tickets can be purchased as a $20 Individual, a $40 Pair, and as an $80 Household streaming experience. Each purchase entitles the ticket buyer to one individual link.

"It's stunning to recall that it was almost a year to the day that we gathered to share the last Script in Hand performance at the Playhouse," said Keefe. "That evening in the curtain speech, I introduced Mark Shanahan, a much-loved Script in Hand regular, who was to become my co-curator for the series going forward. The pandemic put the brakes on that, but now it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Mark Shanahan, the co-curator and the playwright!"

"A Sherlock Carol" is set in 1894 London, where the great detective Sherlock Holmes is downcast ever since the death of his archenemy, criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty. Without his evil adversary, there is no challenge left for Holmes. Enter Tiny Tim, all grown up and now Dr. Timothy Cratchit of St. Bernard's Hospital for Children. Tim lifts Holmes' spirits with a mysterious case to solve: Did someone murder Ebenezer Scrooge?

"Script in Hand is back and ready to entertain!," added Keefe. "So until we can return to our beloved theater in person, sit back, turn down the lights, and prepare to watch Sherlock Holmes solve a very Dickensian murder!"

The cast includes Drew McVety as Sherlock Holmes. McVety performed on Broadway in "Bandstand," "The Front Page," "The Last Ship," "Cyrano de Bergerac," "Billy Elliot," "Sunday in the Park with George," "Spamalot," "Frozen," "Big River," and the original casts of "Titanic" and "The Heidi Chronicles."

Richard R. Henry, as Scrooge, appeared in Westport Country Playhouse's "Room Service." Off-Broadway shows include "Two Gentlemen of Verona: The Musical" and "Drift." Regional theater includes "Assassins" at Yale Rep and "Oliver" at Goodspeed. National Tours of "Urinetown," "Sweet Charity," and "Man of La Mancha."

Daniel Domingues, Player 1 (Dr. Timothy Cratchit, Mr. Topper, Ralph Fezziwig, Constable Hopkins), appeared Off-Broadway at The Public, BAM, and 59E59 Theaters, among others. Film credits include "Run All Night." He received an MFA from A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard, and is creator and co-host of "Hot Date," a podcast for movie fans.

Nicole Shaloub, as Player 2 (Emma Wiggins, Fan Gardner, Inspector Lestrade, Mrs. Windigate), appeared at New York/Off-Broadway venues including Lincoln Center Theater, The Mint, and St. Ann's Warehouse. Select regional theater work includes Yale Rep and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Television/film credits include "Bull," "Madame Secretary," "Sex & The City 2," and "The International."

Bruce Warren, as Player 3 (Dr. Watson, Mrs. Dilber, Henry Burke, Old Joe Brackenridge), was in Off-Broadway's world premiere of "I Spy a Spy" and "The Road to Qatar!" He directed two critically acclaimed productions of "The Legend of Georgia McBride." A teacher of theater classes, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Ithaca College.

Isabel Keating, as Player 4 (Caroler, Woman in Restaurant, The Countess of Morcar, Martha Cratchit, Mary Morstan, Abigail Fezziwig), appeared on Broadway in "Wicked," "It's Only a Play," "Hairspray," "Spider-Man," "Enchanted April," and "The Boy from Oz" (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk and Theatre World awards). Television includes the Emmy Award-winning PBS American Masters "Judy Garland: By Myself."

Stage directions will be read by Anne Keefe. Musical director is Fred Lassen; composer is Ray Bokhour; cellist is Mairi Dorman Phaneuf. Stage manager is Megan Smith.

Director, author, and co-curator of the Script in Hand series, Mark Shanahan appeared at Westport Country Playhouse in "Around the World in 80 Days," "Tryst," "Sedition," "David Copperfield," "Journey's End," and over 20 Script in Hand playreadings. He recently wrote and directed the Playhouse's audio play, "A Merry Little Christmas Carol," and directed Playhouse Script in Hand readings of "Butterflies Are Free," with Blythe Danner and Jonathan Groff, and "The Greatest Gift" by Weston playwright David Wiltse. New York stage includes "The 39 Steps," "Small World," "Checkers," "Tryst," "The Shaughraun," "As Bees in Honey Drown," and "The Internationalist." His directorial work has been seen at Alley Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Virginia Stage, Hudson Stage, Theatre Squared, The White Heron, Fulton Opera House, Mile Square Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Florida Rep, Penguin Rep, Merrimack Rep, Hangar Theatre, The Cape Playhouse, and many more. He is the author of the Off-Broadway and regional hit comedy, "The Dingdong," and the writer and director of the White Heron Radio Theatre Ghost Light Series, featuring Christopher Plummer, Judith Ivey, and more. He is a graduate of Brown University (BA) and Fordham University (MA, faculty). www.mark-shanahan.net.

Co-curator of the Script in Hand series, Anne Keefe is the associate artist at Westport Country Playhouse. She has directed nearly 50 Script in Hand readings. She served as artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse with Joanne Woodward in 2008, and as associate artistic director from 2000-2006, also with Ms. Woodward.

To date, there are three more Script in Hand Playreadings scheduled in 2021 with performances on Mondays on March 22, April 26, and December 13, at 7 p.m.; titles and ticketing options to be announced.

The Script in Hand Playreading Series is supported by the Burry Fredrik Foundation and the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

All dates, titles, and artists subject to change.

Due to the global pandemic, the Playhouse campus remains closed since last March. The 2021 Season is scheduled to begin in April, online and in-person. Playhouse management will be following the science and the State of Connecticut Department of Health guidelines in deciding when and how to safely open our buildings to the public.

To purchase tickets to the Playhouse's virtual season, visit westportplayhouse.org, leave a message on the box office voicemail at (203) 227-4177, or email at boxoffice@westportplayhouse.org. The Playhouse's physical box office is closed during the pandemic, but staff is working from home, returning phone messages and answering emails. Please understand with the high volume of inquiries, it may take up to 72 hours to respond. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).


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