Fall musical brings Holmes’ world to life

Shayne Mazur

The game is afoot! The fall community musical debuts tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at the Greybull High School auditorium, with additional performances at the same time on Friday and Saturday.
Tickets can be purchased at the high school office in advance or at the door for $8 per seat or $7 for kids 10 and under and seniors over 60. Please bring exact change.
“Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Crown Jewel” sees the renowned detective Sherlock Holmes (Scott Mattis) and his trusted partner Doctor Watson (Randy Tolman) facing the ultimate test as they seek to solve a case that could affect the future of the British Empire.
Aided by their dry-witted housekeeper Mrs. Hudson (Bekah Hendershot), the infamous duo must contend with the bumbling Inspector Lestrade (Bill Robertson), Holmes’ nemesis Professor Moriarty (Jonathan Tolman), the Napoleon of crime, and his assistant Tilly (Wende Jenness) in order to recover a lost jewel for Queen Victoria (Kae Mitchell-Bame) herself.
Holmes is further assisted by the Baker Street Irregulars, his pupils in the art of deduction. Ringleader Wiggins (Conner Mayes) leads the troop of mischief makers, including Pip (Grainger Russell), Georgie (Madelyn Robertson), Alfie (Sawyer Yarborough), Jack (Dietrich Otto) and Toby (Mattix Myers).
Mason Stebner stands tall as Queen Victoria’s bodyguard. Josiah Skillman and Devlan Hoflund play London policemen, and Layla Cariveau, Dominic Skillman and Ayden Skillman make up the townspeople.
“I have always loved the Sherlock Holmes stories,” said Director Em Wilson on her choice this year. “I am a big fan of most any kind of mystery, fictional or true.”
She was further excited by the number of strong male performers who auditioned, including newcomer Jonathan Tolman who was “a bit of a wildcard, but definitely a winning one!”
When it came to directing, Wilson knew there was an aspect of the story she wanted to amend.
“I’ve never been a big fan of the portrayal of Dr. Watson as less intelligent than Holmes. Randy has struck a good balance between the doctor’s attempts to see things the way Holmes does, and his need for explanation when he doesn’t,” she said.
She and the cast also made a deal when it came to using British accents on stage. If the actors could maintain their accents throughout the play (and be understood) by the first of November, they could keep them.
“We do have a bit of a variety of accents, but they are all English, and the actors have worked hard on them,” Wilson said.
The backdrop painted by Assistant Director Dee Robertson pays homage to the time period as well. Robertson referenced photos of the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London when creating the iconic flat at 221B Baker Street, and she papered the set pieces in damask wallpaper to capture the era’s décor style.
She has been assisted by her set crew of Sonja Jenness, Charisma Roberson, Noni Bush and Iris Gard.
Costumes, hair and makeup are being tackled by the dedicated team of Judy Sorensen, Sherry Williamson, Charisma Roberson, Faith Roberson and Kasielyn Yarborough.
Michael Yenny serves as the accompanist and vocal director. He is joined in the pit by violinist Karen Campos and drummer Liam Wisehart.
Justin Wisehart and Sean Patrick will run the sound and lights, respectively.