Milwaukee Rep’s “HOLMES AND WATSON” Is Bold and Thrilling Theatre

Reviewed by: Matthew Perta

Highly Recommended

Nothing appears as it seems.  That’s what Dr. Watson needs to keep in mind as he tries to figure out which of three men he comes face to face with in an asylum is the real Sherlock Holmes, his old friend who supposedly died at Reichenbach Falls.  That’s about all this reviewer is allowed to reveal of the twisted plot of Holmes and Watson, an intriguing new play which made its Midwest debut recently in the Quadracci Powerhouse of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Holmes and Watson is a bold and thrilling piece of theater that builds its suspense slowly until it reaches a solution that is so shocking that it fools even the sharpest minds and seasoned mystery lovers in the seats.  My advice to anyone attending Holmes and Watson is to not try to outguess playwright Jeffrey Hatcher but rather let his play just sweep you along right through the finale.  (And, obviously, don’t breathe a word about the solution to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.)

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Holmes and Watson boasts fine acting under the brisk direction of Joe Hanreddy, a former artistic director at the Milwaukee Rep, along with a stunning stage design by Bill Clarke which allows for flashbacks to occur above the stage.  Sound effects, lighting and projection are also top notch, each contributing immensely in the telling of this perplexing tale.

The three Sherlocks that come under Dr. Watson’s scrutiny are expertly played by Ryan Imhoff, Grant Goodman and Rex Young, and stage veteran Norman Moses is convincing as Dr. Watson.  Chicago is well represented in the cast: Eric Damon Smith, who plays a trio of roles in Holmes and Watson, is a Chicago-based actor and director; and Imhoff, Goodman and Maggie Kettering, who assumes two roles in the play, all list the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on their respective resumes.

Holmes and Watson runs through Dec. 17 in the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Quadracci Powerhouse, located at 108 E. Wells in downtown Milwaukee.  For tickets to Holmes and Watson visit www.MilwaukeeRep.comor call (414) 224-9490.