NDG’s own Jay Baruchel is apparently the 79th actor to portray Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker street, London. And 79 is not too many, because this premiere production of the late Greg Kramer’s play is stupendous.
The other 78 actors include some of the most famous celebrated thespians, from Orson Welles to John Barrymore to such Canadians as Christopher Plummer and Mack Sennett. Mr Baruchel can now be well accounted for in this assemblage.
Best known here for his roles as a boxing trainee in Million Dollar Baby and the lead in The Trotsky, he shows his great versatility in adopting an English accent and affecting the eccentricities of the character who has been the subject of an estimated 25,000 stage, radio, film, TV, games and products.
As fine as he is, and as excellent as Karl Graboshas , as steady companion Dr Watson is, this production is really a tribute to the Sidemart Theatrical Grocery, who provided most of the other actors in this fast paced romantic melodrama.
Patrick Costello, who filled in at the last minute for the role that Mr Kramer had planned to play himself, that of the bumbling Inspector Lestrade, was perfect. As were Kyle Gatehouse as the evil Holmes nemesis Dr Moriarty, and the always inventive Graham Cuthbertson as Moriarty’s henchman, Moran. Deena Aziz as the menacing Orchid, Mary Harvey as landlady Mrs Hudson and Gemma James-Smith as Lady Irene were, as usual, top pros. In smaller roles, Chip Chuipka and Trent Pardy, both used to larger roles, proved their mettle.
The music and sound design kept the audience at a high level, as did some of the best fighting scenes we have seen in a long time. The Segal is famous, and rightly so, for its attention to production values.
The pre-publicity for this play, as well as sympathy for the untimely demise of Mr Kramer at 51, has led to sold out performances for the rest of the run.
Even though this show is sold out, try your luck at cancellations by calling 514-739-7944.