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PICT Presents 'The Mask of Moriarty,' 12/1-17

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PICT presents the world's most famous consulting detective and his trusty sidekick in their most harrowing - and hilarious - case yet! The Mask of Moriarty by Hugh Leonard throws everything into the mix, from mop-headed hunchbacks to Hitler's secret parentage - even the identity of Jack the Ripper! -- in this fiendishly fun caper fit for the entire family.

Alan Stanford directs a cast of twelve, starring David Whalen as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Giles as Dr. John Watson. Performances are scheduled December 1st through 17th in the Charity Randall Theatre, located in the Stephen Foster Memorial on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Oakland.

On a dark and foggy night on Waterloo Bridge, a young woman is murdered while her employer and a policeman stand mere feet away. The affable young Bunny St. John Manders (Ethan Saks) has been accused of the crime, and his half-sister, American visitor Gwen Mellors (Jessica Bates), hires Holmes to exonerate him. But who IS the mysterious American woman? And is Bunny as innocent as he seems? Who is the nefarious man hiding in Lord Melmoth's (James FitzGerald) cellar? How many drunken sailors does it take to fill the Notorius Den of Vice and Nameless Aberrations (in Limehouse)? And will the hunchback Herring (Tony Bingham) ever speak? These questions and more will be answered in The Mask of Moriarty!

Since their first appearance in "A Study in Scarlet" in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters have never gone out of style. A recent resurgence of interest in Holmes is evidenced by the hugely popular new BBC series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cummerbatch and Martin Freeman, the film series starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, and the new CBS series in development featuring a modern-day American Sherlock. Film adaptations featuring Holmes go back as far as 1908, and many leading actors, including Basil Rathbone, John Barrymore, Jeremy Bratt, Peter Cushing, Peter O'Toole, and even Leonard Nimoy, have played the detective on stage and screen.

Hugh Leonard is one of Ireland's most beloved writers. His best-known stage work, Da, had a two-year run on Broadway and garnered Tony and Drama Desk awards for Leonard. The film version stars Martin Sheen. His plays The Au Pair Man and A Life also received Tony Award nominations.

Stanford's long and illustrious career includes numerous credits as a director and an actor. Notably, he played Dr. Watson in the world premiere of The Mask of Moriarty, opposite Tom Baker (fourth doctor in the long-running BBC television series Doctor Who). His previous PICT directing credits include Salome, Betrayal and Celebration. As an actor, Stanford portrayed the imperious Lady Bracknell earlier this summer in PICT's spectacular production of The Importance of Being Earnest. He is well-known to theatre audiences around the world as Pozzo in the Gate Theatre's long-running production of Samuel Beckett's masterpiece, Waiting for Godot. As a principle director at Dublin's Gate Theatre, Stanford has staged such works as Hugh Leonard's Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, and The Collection by Harold Pinter (featuring Pinter in the role of Harry). Also for the Gate, Stanford co-adapted and directed productions of Pride and Prejudice, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and A Christmas Carol, as well as his own adaptations of Oliver Twist, Jane Eyre and The Old Curiosity Shop. Other directing credits include Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth, as well as Brian Friel's Philadelphia, Here I Come! for Second Age, of which he is a co-founder and artistic director.

David Whalen graced the PICT stage earlier this season as Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. Other PICT credits include roles in Pinter Celebration, Doubt, President George W. Bush in Stuff Happens, Julius Caesar, An Ideal Husband, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. For his work in four PICT Productions, David was named Performer of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2007. The Lieutenant of Inishmore was remounted at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in 2008, for which he won the Kevin Kline award for Best Actor. He has performed with some of the country's most respected companies, including South Coast Repertory, the Shakespeare Theatre of D.C., Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, as well as Pittsburgh's excellent City, Public, and Quantum Theatres.

The inimitable Martin Giles plays Dr. John Watson. One of the city's most versatile artists, Giles is a respected actor, director and playwright. Giles' PICT credits include directing and writing the 2010 season opener Beautiful Dreamers, as well as directing The Dumbwaiter in the Pinter Celebration, The Well of the Saints in Synge Cycle, and Not I in BeckettFest. His numerous PICT acting credits include roles in this season's productions of House & Garden and The Importance of Being Earnest, and in last season's Pinter Celebration and Othello. He was awarded the 2002 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Performer of the Year for his performance in PICT's production of The Gigli Concert.

Jessica Bates returns to PICT, where she performed in The Seagull, Tonight at 8:30, and Henceforward. A graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, Bates' recent credits include the title role in Medea for Riverside Theatre, as well as productions with Milwaukee Rep, the Women's Project, The Acting Company, and the National Shakespeare Company.

Michael Hanrahan will play the dual roles of police constable Herbert Travesty and the crusty, irascible landlord. His previous PICT credits include Othello and Pinter Celebration. He has appeared on countless stages across Canada and the U.S. as well as in numerous films and television programs. He is a founding member of Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company, where he has performed in such productions as Loot, Awake and Sing, Oh What a Lovely War, and American Buffalo. He was a member of the Stratford Theatre Festival company for four seasons.

Terry Hoge and Liz Roberts make their PICT debut in The Mask of Moriarty. The production also features Tony Bingham (The School for Scandal), Ben Blazer (Othello, Synge Cycle, Salome, Henry IV), Dan Derks (The Importance of Being Earnest, Antony & Cleopatra), James FitzGerald (The Importance of Being Earnest, Pride & Prejudice), Daryll Heysham (Othello), and Ethan Saks (The History Boys).

The scenic design is by Gianni Downs (PICT credits include: House & Garden, Race, Hobson's Choice, Pinter Celebration, Othello, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Boston Marriage), costume design is by Joan Markert (Hobson's Choice, Othello, The School for Scandal), lighting design by Andrew David Ostrowski (Jane Eyre, Private Lives, King Lear, Doubt), and properties by Cory F. Goddard (Race, Hobson's Choice, Pinter Celebration). Sound designer Nicholas Quinn makes his PICT debut with The Mask of Moriarty. The Mask of Moriarty plays December 1st through 17th in the Charity Randall Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial, Oakland. For tickets, contact ProArtsTickets at 412.394.3353 or visit www.picttheatre.org.


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