Gregory Wooddell, Lucas Hall & More to Star in Ken Ludwig's BASKERVILLE: A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY at Arena Stage
The play's afoot! Sherlock Holmes battles one of his greatest mysteries to date at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, a world-premiere adaptation from Tony Award-winning playwright Ludwig (Broadway's Lend Me a Tenor). Adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved The Hound of the Baskervilles, this fast-paced comedic tale of murder, intrigue and a wild hound is directed by Amanda Dehnert (Arena Stage's The Fantasticks) as part of Arena Stage's 65th anniversary season. A co-production with McCarter Theatre Center, Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery runs January 16-February 22, 2015 in the Kreeger Theater.
Gregory Wooddell (Broadway's The Lyons, Shakespeare Theatre's As You Like It) stars as the famous 19th-century detective Holmes, with Lucas Hall (Manhattan Theatre Club's Tales from Red Vienna) as his trusty sidekick Doctor Watson. The cast also features Stanley Bahorek (Broadway's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Michael Glenn (Arena Stage's Good People) and Jane Pfitsch (Broadway's Cabaret), who together portray over 40 characters.
"A Sherlock Holmes mystery is the perfect foil for the winter doldrums," shares Artistic Director Molly Smith. "Ken Ludwig has worked his magic again and I'm looking forward to seeing our Washington audiences enjoy his storytelling. It's also a pleasure to have a co-production partner in McCarter Theatre and to know that this new play will have eager audiences in two cities-and then maybe more."
"In Baskerville, I've tried to stretch the genres of comedy and mystery by taking a story that plays out on a large scale-on London streets, in railway stations and on the bleak, mysterious moors of Devon-and creating it with five actors playing more than 40 roles," says Ludwig. "My hope is that the play will speak to the raw, creative joy of being in a live theater and telling a compelling story in a wildly new way. I'm enormously grateful to Arena Stage and McCarter Theatre for making this adventure possible."
"I'm very excited to be working on such a fresh, funny thriller with a playwright as inspiring as Ken and two theaters I deeply admire, Arena and McCarter," adds Dehnert. "Baskerville is a new play providing one of those rare opportunities to create suspense, excitement and mystery in an overtly theatrical way. I hope people enjoy it as much as we will enjoy creating it."
Ken Ludwig (Playwright) is an internationally acclaimed playwright who has had numerous hits on Broadway, in London and throughout the world. His first play on Broadway, Lend Me a Tenor, won two Tony Awards and was nominated for seven. He has also won two Laurence Olivier Awards (England's highest theater honor), two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the American Theatre. His work has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Bristol Old Vic and his plays have been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages. His play Shakespeare in Hollywood premiered at Arena Stage and won the Charles MacArthur Award for outstanding new play. He has written over 20 plays and musicals, including Crazy for You, which won the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical, Moon Over Buffalo starring Carol Burnett and Lynn Redgrave, Twentieth Century starring Alec Baldwin, The Fox on the Fairway, Leading Ladies and The Beaux' Stratagem. In Washington, Ken's plays have been produced at the Kennedy Center, as well as The Shakespeare Theatre, Signature Theatre, Ford's, Round House, Olney and Adventure Theatres. His latest book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare is published by Random House. Ken is a Sallie B. Goodman Fellow of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, and he holds degrees from Harvard, where he studied music with Leonard Bernstein, Haverford College and Cambridge University.
Amanda Dehnert (Director) returns to Arena Stage after directing The Fantasticks (2009/10 season). In Washington, she also directed the staged reading of The Two Gentlemen of Verona: A Rock Opera for the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Other regional credits include All's Well That Ends Well, Julius Caesar and Into the Woods for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Richard III for the Public Theatre mobile Shakespeare unit and Cabaret for the Stratford Festival. She has written and composed The Verona Project, (world premiere, California Shakespeare Theatre) and Peter Pan: A Play (Lookingglass Theatre Company). Her production of My Fair Lady has been performed at Trinity Repertory Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Cleveland Play House, Virginia Stage Company and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Amanda has served as both associate and interim artistic director at the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI, where she directed over 20 productions. She is an associate professor of theatre at Northwestern University.
Photo by Walter McBride