Regional Reviews: Cleveland & Akron
Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars
They are joined by Eliza Mayhew (Kate Clay for the Saturday matinees, or Miranda Leeann), Doctor Watson/Sherlock Holmes (Christopher M. Bohan) and Mrs. Hudson (Neda Spears) as they fight evil in the form of Morris Wiggins, Moriarty and Peabody (all played by Ray Caspio).
The show begins with the shadowy figures of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty fighting to the death at the top of Reichenbach Falls. The two end up tumbling over the edge and presumably falling to their deaths. The irregulars end up congregating at 221B Baker Street in London as Mrs. Hudson and Doctor Watson are grieving their loss. They soon find out that, in spite of their missing hero, their services are very much needed in solving two crimes: the kidnapping of amateur detective Eliza, who is Mrs. Mayhew's granddaughter, and the mysterious disappearance of Mrs. Mayhew herself. Through the power of deduction, the Irregulars quickly find Eliza, who joins their band as each member uses his or her particular skill to thwart the baddies, circumvent Lestrade, and solve the mysteries.
This is a melodramatic mystery the family will love. It has all the elements of good guys, little kids acting far beyond their years in solving crimes, mistaken identities, danger, teenage love, bad guys, and a few plot twists to keep it interesting.
The show is directed by Nathan Motta, who pretty much turns the young actors loose on stage. The only complaint one might find would be in the high pitch vocals of two of the characters (Chen and Ash), who at times cannot be understood very well. Video projections add very much to the performance but could be scaled back just a touch. The scene transitions are done smoothly and quickly.
The two most notable in the cast are Christopher Bohan, who has recently been seen in the Dobama productions of How to Be a Respectable Junkie and The Flick. His dual role of Watson and Holmes are truly two distinct characters, and Ray Caspio who does triple dirty duty as Morris Wiggins, Moriarty and Peabody. Ananias J. Dixon gets a nod for his puffed up yet quite funny version of Inspector Lestrade, and Laura Starnik plays a first evil then good Mayhew. Neda Spears does a fine turn as the hysterical Mrs. Hudson.
Dobama Theatre's Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars, through December 30, 2017, at 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights OH. Tickets can be purchased online at www.dobama.org or by calling (216) 932-3396.