2 places you’ll find Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes headlines stage plays opening this month at two Bay Area theaters, ranging from a modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles” to a humorous, suspenseful visit to 1896 America based on a 1998 novel, “Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders.”
A Pearland teenager, Benjamin Grygier, composed original music for the production of “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” which runs Oct. 12-Nov. 4 at Bay Area Harbour Playhouse in Dickinson.
“The music is very spooky, which fits right into the metaphysical, ‘Scooby-Doo’ aspect of the story,” said Christopher Lowe of Seabrook, who stars as Sherlock Holmes.
The show’s title character, Lowe explained, “is a giant, spectral hound” on the grounds of a British estate allegedly cursed by a pact with the devil.
“Is there really a curse or is there a perfectly rationale explanation for the murder?” asks Lowe. “Sherlock Holmes always seems to have an answer. I have loved the character since I was a kid, because he is a lot like my dad. My dad is very intelligent and observant, and he always knew the answer, no matter what my question was.”
Lowe said that Grygier’s music “sets the right tone for the play. It starts off slow and builds at just the right pace.”
Grygier, who is 19 and studies audio engineering at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, said he watched four Sherlock Holmes movies to study their musical scores.
“Each one had a different style because they were by different composers,” He said. “I wanted my main theme to be mysterious. It’s calm, then all of a sudden it becomes mysterious again, to make more of an impact.”
The son of Michael and Susan Grygier of Pearland began taking piano lessons seven years ago.
“Musicwise, my next project is to develop an actual album,” he said.
The composer’s father plays the character of Barrymore, the butler, in “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”
Frederic Pearl portrays Dr. John Watson, who assists Holmes in sleuthing.
Rounding out the cast are Teddy Waddell, Aleck Devon, Teresa McLemore, Kathleen Bilich, Abby Gough, Berkley Rose Pearl and Alyssa Brady.
Making his directorial debut is Brandon Allen, a 1997 graduate of Dickinson High School.
The stage manager is Stacey Pope.
Playwright Tim Kelly adapted Doyle’s early 1900s crime story with a modern setting.
My dear Watson, are we in Minnesota?
Michelle Robinson of Hitchcock directed “Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders” for its production Oct. 19-Nov. 4 at Clear Creek Community Theatre in Nassau Bay.
“It takes place in Minnesota, of all places,” said Brian Treybig, a Kemah resident who is cast as Sherlock Holmes.
“He and Watson are in Chicago, when they decide to travel to St. Paul on a whim, and get a lesson in American crime. They also team up with an amateur private detective. The play has a lot of great humor and a great mystery. You don’t find out anything until the last few pages.”
At CCCT, Bernie Sandner of Clear Lake plays Watson. David Blystone of Pasadena portrays the amateur detective who helps with the case, which involves the disappearance of a young woman’s fiancée.
Treybig’s wife, Kristina Treybig, is cast as a Chicago policeman, an Irish police chief and a night watchman, Lars Melander. The couple, who met when they played Dr. and Mrs. Montague in an October 2015 production of “The Haunting of Hill House” at CCCT, will celebrate their first wedding anniversary at the show’s second performance.
The cast also includes James Taylor, Ellie Dolen, Mark Stanley and Mariel Rico of Clear Lake, Matt Leighton and Kara Leighton of League City and Bob Peeples of Nassau Bay.
Jeffrey Hatcher based his script on a book by Larry Millett.