BASKERVILLE, A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY Opens at Walnut Street Before Tour
Philadelphia audiences will be the first to see this production before it becomes the 8th national and international tour of a Walnut Street Theatre production.
Directed by Walnut favorite, Bill Van Horn, Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery begins previews in the intimate Independence Studio on 3 at the Walnut on January 2nd, opens January 4th, and continues through February 4th.
Ken Ludwig's acclaimed stage adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1902 classic mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles, is full of intrigue and... huge laughs. The male heirs of the Baskerville line are being murdered one by one, and the renowned sleuth Sherlock Holmes, along with his trusted sidekick Dr. Watson, must work feverishly to crack the curse before it dooms the newest heir. Five talented actors, playing forty quirky characters, follow leads, unravel clues, hit dead-ends, and zigzag with the story until the shockingly funny conclusion.
Ken Ludwig has had six shows on Broadway, beginning with the critically acclaimed Lend Me a Tenor, which garnered Ludwig seven Tony nominations and two wins. His musical, Crazy for You, won the Tony Award and Olivier Award (England's highest theatre honor) for Best Musical in 1992. Ludwig has also been awarded the Charles MacArthur Award, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery from The Mystery Writers of America, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the American Theatre. Baskerville is one of his most recent works, along with A Comedy of Tenors and Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol (2015 Helen Hayes Award nominee for Outstanding Play). His newest book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, (winner of the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of 2014) is published by Random House. The Walnut has produced many of Ludwig's works including Lend Me a Tenor (1992), Crazy for You (1997), and Moon Over Buffalo (1998).
The show will be directed by Bill Van Horn. At the Walnut, he recently directed A Christmas Carol, Peter and the Starcatcher, Around the World in 80 Days, and The Glass Menagerie. He has also appeared on stage in numerous other Walnut productions, including: Annie, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Story, Mary Poppins, Elf, and Fiddler on the Roof.
In addition to directing the production, Van Horn will also play the iconic role of Dr. Watson. Joining Van Horn is another Walnut veteran and Philadelphia stage regular Ian Merrill Peakes, who will play the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Peakes returns to the Walnut for his 9th show (Harvey, Ideal Husband, Peter and the Starcatcher, Of Mice and Men, Great Expectations). Baskerville marks Peakes' 124th professional stage production.
While Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes are played by Van Horn and Peakes, the other forty characters in the production are portrayed by just three comedic actors: Dan Hodge (Peter and the Starcatcher, The Mousetrap, 39 Steps); Jered McLenigan (Peter and the Starcatcher, Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Good People); and Sarah Glicko (Around the World in 80 Days, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Musical of Musicals the Musical). All five comic actors have performed on many of Philadelphia's regional stages and are proud members of the local theatre community.
Transporting audiences from 221B Baker Street to the mysterious moors of Devonshire is a production team led by set designer Scott Groh (It's a Wonderful Life). Joining Groh is sound designer John Kolbinski (Souvenir, A Child's Christmas in Wales, Always... Patsy Cline), lighting designer J. Dominic Chacon (Peter and the Starcatcher, A Christmas Carol) and costume designer Kayla Speedy (A Child's Christmas in Wales).
Ken Ludwig's Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery will become the eighth Walnut Street Theatre production to embark on a national and international tour across the country. The Walnut celebrates Philadelphia's finest talents and is proud to share them with America. The first seven tours of Walnut Street Theatre productions, all featuring Philadelphia artists, have included Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Glass Menagerie, Proof, Around the World in 80 Days, Driving Miss Daisy, A Life in the Theatre, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. For more information about Walnut Street Theatre national and international tours, visit WalnutStreetTheatre.org/season/tour.
Season sponsor for the 2017-18 Independence Studio on 3 Season is The Independence Foundation. Media season sponsors are Philly Weekly and WRTI Radio. Tickets are $35-$40 and are now available at 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available at walnutstreettheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.
Pictured: Bill Van Horn, Ian Merrill Peakes, Jered McLenigan, Dan Hodge, and Sarah Gliko in Walnut Street Theatre's production of Ken Ludwig's BASKERVILLE, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. Photo by Mark Garvin.