Review: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at Grant County Community Theater

New Director Jamie Partain brings Sherlock mysteries to live in Grant County

By: Dec. 01, 2023
Review: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at Grant County Community Theater

I do love going to new-to-me theatres, so it was a special treat to head south to visit the Grant County Community Theater, 407 E Center St, in Sheridan, on Friday, Dec. 17, for THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. This theater troupe was formed in 2019, just in time for COVID...who knew? Somehow, they still managed to push through, found a permanent home at Lancaster Hall, which used to be the Sheridan First Christian Church, and have been steadily growing their repertoire. Though relatively new to the theatrical scene, these thespians have an abundant amount of talent, and Broadway World was enthralled with their storytelling. 

Review: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at Grant County Community Theater To open the show, we were serenaded by super talented trumpet jazz player Jackson Appleget. We enjoyed songs that really set the mood for what was to come. If this minstrel doesn’t get a ton of music scholarships when he heads to college, I will be extremely shocked.  

Based on four classic short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by Jon Jory, and directed by Jamie Partain, THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES are in two acts: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, The Five Orange Pips, The Adventure of the Devil's Foot, and The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.  

In the first half of Act I, Sherlock (Summer Brinley), with the help from Dr. Watson (Tucker Dowler) solves the mystery of the missing jewel, which was lodged in a Christmas goose’s throat. Peterson (Alex Johnston) gives Holmes a hat and a goose, which belongs to Henry Baker (Jackson Appleget). When an employee comes looking for answers, she eventually gives up herself by telling her story of how she was choosing a goose and it swallowed the jewel, but then she got the wrong goose when there was a mishap with her sister. In the end, Sherlock has the jewel and returns it to its owner.  

Review: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at Grant County Community Theater

For the second half of Act I Dr. Watson is played by Karen Goins and they are searched out by John (Lawson Reed) who has been marked for death by the Ku Klux Klan. Once Watson decides who the killers are, John goes away and does, in fact, get murdered. This upsets Sherlock, because she feels responsible, and decides to avenge his death and not return until she does. That is where we end at intermission.  

In the first half of Act II, Dowler returns as Dr. Watson and he and Sherlock solve the murder of Mortimer (Jackson Appleget) when Dr. Sterndale (Karen Goins) comes in asking questions. Sherlock and Watson test the powder for themselves to be sure that was the cause of death, and then Dr. Sterndale confesses. 

Review: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at Grant County Community Theater

In the last half of Act II, Goins in Watson again, and Violet (Rylee Woodard), a young governess, tells Sherlock about her odd job with Mr. Rucastle (Tyler Berg) and Mrs. Rucastle (Brittany Connelly). They have her cut her hair and wear certain outfits at their estate which weirds Violet out. The servants Mr. Toller (Tucker Dowler) and Mrs. Toller (Cara Aubrey) get along with Violet, and when Violet brings in Sherlock to find out what’s going on, they get Mr. Toller drunk and take his keys, where they find out that the Rucastle’s have been locking up their daughter to keep her from a suitor.  Review: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at Grant County Community Theater

These performers worked so well as an ensemble that I was invested in each mystery. I never thought of Sherlock as a woman, but Brinley played the character so well, I thought she added a special touch to the detective. She was thoughtful, dramatic in a methodical kind of way, poised, and commanding of the narrative. She was definitely in charge of each story. I loved both Watsons. They both brought a different feel to the doctor, and yet both fitting for what was needed for the role. Their commitment to dead Mortimer in the chair was funny, and my teenage son thought it was especially funny when Sherlock and Watson got “high” from the powder.  

Again, I would like to point out how well the musicians are in this group. There were several scenes where a violinist was needed, and Ian Goins played beautifully in the style that fit the period pieces.  

Review: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at Grant County Community Theater Broadway World acknowledges that it takes behind the scenes magicians to help the performances run smoothly. On the crew were Stage Manager Baylie Barker, Backstage Crew Member Kaleb Hughes, Lights and Sound person Frankie Goldman, and Jamie Partain and Rylee Woodard on Set Design. 

The Grant County Community Theater would like to give a special thanks to Drs. Greg and Kay Reed for sponsoring this production, a thank you to Hughes Electric, and to Justin L. Wise for providing home cooked meals for the cast and crew both Saturdays of Sherlock’s double show days. 

To see what’s next with this talented group of performers, visit their website at https://www.gcctheater.org.   

Review: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES at Grant County Community Theater



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