Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It's a bust!

It's speculation time.
I must admit I am not one to follow closely the news about upcoming episodes of 'Sherlock'. Feels to much like watching the news and the info you really want is not till the very end of the broadcast.

That doesn't mean I don't catch some of what is going on.

Two of the upcoming episodes have supposedly been named and the names released to the public.

They are; "The Lying Detective" and "The Six Thatchers".

While the web site, The Blog of John Watson has already done a piece on a broken statue mystery, we probably should not expect that to be the same story coming to us as "The Six Thatchers".

And, it would be very un-"Sherlock" to allow 'The Six Thatchers" to follow to closely the story line of "The Six Napoleons."

So what else could it mean?

Are Thatcher look-alike's being knocked-off?
Are roofing thatchers being knocked-off? Perhaps due to a thatcher strike.
Is there really something hidden in statues of the former Prime Minister? Probably something like a flash-drive or clues to who Moriarty really is.
Or maybe clues to when Natalie Dormer is coming back to 'Elementary'? (Oh, please, Oh, please, Oh, please!)
Or are six people being targeted, belonging the an organization called 'The Thatchers'?
Or (which is more than likely) am I not even close to what it could be?

What do you think?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Nope, I didn't make the party . . .

While I look forward to reading this, I see my name is notiecably absent from the list.

For good reason; I was never invited to the party.

Oh, well.

I look forward to anything by Chris Redmond, so it should be a fun read.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Stay tuned. . . .!

Revered British actor Sir Derek Jacobi to play Sherlock Holmes in new adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles

Hot on the bloody heels of their Dracula adaptation starring horror icon Tony Todd as The Count, Canadian audio drama collective Bleak December have just announced that British stage and screen legend Sir Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius, Gladiator, The King’s Speech) will be donning the familiar deerstalker and pipe in a new audio adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Sherlock Holmes: The Hellhound is a darker retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s terrifying thriller involving a family curse and a horrifying legend. The full-cast and lushly-scored audio drama will be released initially through Fangoria magazine’s “Musick” label later this year. Like Dracula, this Sherlock Holmes adventure will be executive produced by filmmaker and Bleak December founder Anthony D.P. Mann; Mann will also appear as Holmes’ faithful sidekick Dr. Watson.
Mann is “…simply over the moon to have Sir Derek play Sherlock Holmes for us. He is one of those golden actors that other thespians (including myself) look up to and aspire to achieve that level of rare ability as an artist. I’ve been a fan of his for many years, and can’t wait to hear him as Holmes.
Bleak December’s audio productions celebrate the rich history of radio theater and the spoken word format. Future audio releases planned include full-cast adaptations of Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeSherlock Holmes: The Hellhound will be available for download through Fangoria Musick in late 2016. Dracula will be available as of September 30th – just in time for Halloween.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

"The Theatre, the theatre . . what's happened to the theatre?" Danny Kaye

Arts Club season opener Baskerville a thrilling comedic homage to Sherlock Holmes

Sept 8 – Oct 9 | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
Tickets: starting at $29, artsclub.com
Comedy, mystery and Benedict Cumberbatch — well, two out of three ain’t bad.
The English actor who has helped repopularize Sherlock Holmes in recent years won’t be part of the cast when Baskerville opens at the Stanley, but a satisfyingly Sherlockian mystery and plenty of laughs ensure a good time will be had by all.
Written by Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig, Baskerville is a stage-bound take on one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Holmes adventures, The Hound of the Baskervilles. The third Holmes novel, first published in 1902, finds Holmes and his trusty companion Dr. Watson investigating mysterious goings-on in the English countryside, and determined to save the latest heir to the Baskerville line.
The twist in Ludwig’s version, first produced in early 2015, is the addition of heaps of comedy, supplied by the supporting cast of characters — more than 40 roles, played by just three actors.
Auditions for the Arts Club production were held earlier in the year.
“I just brought in people I knew had really good comedic skills, are naturally funny people, are really good at English accents,” said director John Murphy. “There’s a Spanish, Swedish and German accent as well.”
The director says it was also important that cast members have “a lot of grace under pressure in terms of running around, sweating like crazy, changing a costume and coming on as a completely different character with a completely different mood, and able to pull it off.”
Alex Zahara, a mainstay of the Vancouver theatre scene in the 1990s before venturing into TV and movies, stars as Holmes.
“He’s perfect for the role,” Murphy said. “He’s a super dynamic actor, he looks great for the role, he’s got the intelligence, the intensity.”
Mark Weatherley is Watson. “He’s a great stage vet, he’s done shows for the Arts Club over the past 20 years. He’s very funny, but also very dry and very straight. He’s the character who grounds the whole play.”
It falls to Lauren Bowler, Kirk Smith, and Mike Wasko to handle the rest of the characters. “They’re all very funny, natural comedians, and chameleons as well. And they’re incredibly good at accents. It’s wonderful to watch those guys.”
Although much of the enjoyment of Baskerville is in the supporting characters, the mystery itself is satisfying.
“Absolutely, the mystery is there,” Murphy said. “And there’s a real gothic element to the original story that I’m trying to bring out. Conan Doyle said in A Study in Scarlet (the first Holmes novel) ‘without imagination there is no horror.’ So I’m taking every opportunity I can to engage the audience’s imagination.”
One method is to use shadow puppetry in a section where a character tells the story of one of the Baskervilles, Sir Hugo, and the notorious hound thought to be exterminating the Baskerville line.
“It’s such an elemental, childlike, imaginative exercise,” Murphy said. “If we can get the audience into that headspace where their imagination is cranked up and running on eight cylinders, where they can believe that shadow puppets are real, they can possibly believe that the hound is real. Maybe the hound of the Baskervilles is really more than just a story.”
Besides shadow puppets and costume changes, Baskerville’s mood and setting will be accented by video and props. 
“There are all sorts of moving pieces involved,” Murphy said.
The production that comes closest to it in terms of logistics is The Santaland Diaries, he says.
That show “has 600 lighting sound and visual cues. I would say this has less cues but is more ambitious in its movement. There’s someone who flies in the show, there’s rigging, there’s one projector in the front, two projectors in the back, there’s a large scrim that’s 20 feet by 12 feet, there’s a smaller scrim, all on wheels. There’s just so much going on. It’s definitely up there as one of the most complicated shows I’ve directed. Which I love.”
The only thing missing is Cumberbatch, whose depiction of a contemporary Holmes in the TV series Sherlock has helped renewed interest in the detective.
“He (Sherlock Holmes) is just a fascinating character,” Murphy said. “There have been so many film versions of him, going back to Basil Rathbone, and stage versions of him. There’s this version of Baskerville, there’s another one with just three actors. It’s definitely something in the collective unconscious that’s going on now, that there’s a spike in interest.”


If you are headed west,

Sherlock Holmes finds a home in Calf. Gold Country.


JACKSON — Walk in the door of Hein & Company Used and Rare Books, past the giant literary sculpture — a twister built from hundreds of hardcovers — and all the cozy little reading spots, and head up the stairs to a scene straight out of an Arthur Conan Doyle novel. It’s like a time-machine jump into Victorian London, complete with Sherlock Holmes’ sitting room, Dr. Watson’s Apothecary, Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Shop and more.

So. Much. More.
What began as fun little idea dreamed up by two uber-Sherlock fans, bookstore co-owner Linda Hein and best friend Beth Barnard, has turned into a Sherlockian marvel, a Baker Street West that includes a pub, secret passageways, revolving bookcases and a Victorian parlor for special events. You can indulge your inner detective at the All Things Sherlockian shop, dabble in steampunk apparel at Adler’s Emporium and channel your inner child at Wiggins’ Toy Shoppe. There’s even a bee-themed shop, South Downs Apiary, in its final building phase, with hexagonal shelves bearing honey, beeswax candles and copies of “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,” the book that launched Laurie R. King’s Holmes-inspired series.
That’s not all. There are murder dinners and afternoon tea mysteries; a Sherlockian literary society, Holmes’ Hounds; and a theatrical company, the Baker Street Players, which is up for three SARTA awards from the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance for last spring’s production of “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the American Twins,” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
And it’s all run by this Sherlockian trio: the Heins — Linda and her husband Wolfgang, and Barnard, who serves as artistic director.
Naturally, we had questions — elementary ones, of course — and Linda was happy to play Sherlock to our befuddled Watson.
Q How on Earth did this start?
A Four years ago, my girlfriend and I would meet in different restaurants for lunch, and talk about different Sherlock Holmes stories. I asked my husband if we could have a little part of the bookstore to make a tiny 221 Baker Street. But as soon as he started building that room, our imaginations went wild. We put in a tea shop, and I said, “You can have a pub.” We have eight shops all dedicated to a subject or a character — the only shop that doesn’t directly relate is the pub, but every Victorian London should have a pub. We expect they’ll all be finished by the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Q What came first, Baker Street West or the Holmes Hounds?
A We officially opened 221 Baker Street in November 2013 — still a work in progress — but it wasn’t until January that we started Holmes Hounds, thinking if we had 10 or 12 people like us, who want to talk about Sherlock Holmes stories, it will be wonderful. The room was twice as big as we’d planned, but we outgrew the room! We have 90 members.
Q Tell us about the plays …
A When we opened Baker Street, we christened it with four performances of “Houdini and the Last Seance,” and one of our members invited a well-known author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, who has written books about Mycroft Holmes and (numerous) novels. She was inspired to write “The Case of the American Twins.” So Wolf and I put together a production company, the Baker Street Players. We had eight performances, and they were all sold out. We’re planning at least three or four (plays) per year.
Q We didn’t see a conventional theater setup. How do you stage these?
A You know theater-in-the-round? It’s the reverse: The audience is in the center; the actors are around. We have eight secret passageways. During the play, we have five of them in use. Actors come out of one storefront and exit in another storefront, and come out in a different one, very mysteriously. It’s probably more fun than we deserve!
Find Baker Street West on the second floor of Hein & Company Used and Rare Books, open daily at 204 Main St., Jackson. You can wander through the Baker Street scenes and shops at any time, but the best way to experience this creative marvel is at an event, such as a mystery theater dinner — the next two are scheduled for Oct. 22 and 29 — or a play.
The Baker Street Players’ next production will be “The Final Toast” by Edgar award-winning author Stuart Kaminsky, which will open the last weekend in January and run through early March. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, who wrote “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the American Twins,” is working on a sequel, tentatively scheduled for spring.
Learn more and add yourself to the mailing list at www.bakerstreetwest.com.

And for some more on this place: Victorian Scribbles

What do you think? A new book list.

Here is a list of 10 Books for Sherlock Holmes Fans

Thanks to the enterprising work of mystery writers and die-hard Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fans, there are plenty of books for Sherlockians (it's a real term), who know that the mark of a great mystery novel is when its solution is far from elementary.
1. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Any Sherlock Holmes fan will know it’s worth going back to the beginning when analyzing a problem. Rediscover The Hound of the Baskervilles—the third Holmes novel that launched the detective from popular character to international icon. The mystery of the death of Sir Charles Baskerville is now widely considered one of the top English novels, and scholars have given it a 100 rating, making it the #1 Holmes novel of all time.
2. The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes, by David Pirie
Author David Pine takes readers through the fictional world of Arthur Conan Doyle—the famous detective’s creator. Sherlock is based on Doyle’s friend, Dr. Joseph Bell, and this story follows Doyle and Bell as they encounter all sorts of Victorian criminals in this addictive, eerie mystery.
3. Nevermore, by William Hjortsberg
In this murder mystery pastiche by William Hjortsberg, Sherlock Holmes teams up with Harry Houdini and the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe—yes, you read that right—to solve a series of murders perpetrated by a copycat serial killer imitating the work of the long dead Poe. Holmes fans with a healthy love of the paranormal will devour this modern homage that brings together three icons of the strange and unusual.
4. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, by Vincent Starrett
A die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan himself, Vincent Starrett was the author of several Holmes-inspired books, including his most famous: 1933’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Written as a fictional biography of Holmes, this book gives fans a further look into the Holmes case files—lovingly recorded by his trusty assistant Dr. Watson. As a Holmes expert, Starrett’s attention to detail and the inspiration behind Holmes’ most challenging mysteries makes The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes an essential addition to any fan’s library.
5. The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers
British mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers is best remembered for her Holmesian creation, amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey. A typical “gentleman detective,” Wimsey solves crimes for fun, and is assisted by his former valet Mervyn Bunter. In the ninth novel in the Wimsey series, Wimsey and Bunter find themselves thrown into an epic murder mystery when they take a wrong turn in East Anglia. Though at first charmed by the unique traditions of this small English town, Wimsey and Bunter’s hopes for a relaxing weekend in the country are quickly dashed.
6. The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins
Generally considered the first ever English detective novel, Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone greatly influenced Arthur Conan Doyle and his creation of Sherlock Holmes. Published in installments in 1868, The Moonstone tells the story of a precious yellow diamond given to Rachel Verinder on her 18th birthday. Though it is said to bring bad luck to its owner, the bauble is nevertheless stolen from Rachel’s bedroom at night. Now, Sergeant Cuff must decipher who the thief is in this mystery that anticipates both Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie’s novels.
7. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie’s 1932 classic take on one of the 20th century’s most infamous crimes, the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, solidified the success of Christie’s creation: Detective Hercule Poirot, perhaps the most well known fictional detective after Sherlock Holmes. "I was still writing in the Sherlock Holmes tradition,” Chrisite explained in her autobiography on the creation of Poirot. “Eccentric detective, stooge assistant, with a Lestrade-type Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Jap.”
Like Holmes, Poirot went on to international fame and is the only fictional character to receive an obituary in The New York Times.
8. Dust and Shadow, by Lyndsay Faye
Holmes takes on perhaps the most infamous unsolved mystery in this historical fiction novel by Lyndsay Faye: The Jack the Ripper murders. As the Ripper rages on through London’s Whitechapel district, Holmes finds that even he is out of his depth, especially when his trusty sidekick Watson is wounded in the fray.
9. Arthur and George, by Julian Barnes
George Edalji was the half-Indian son of a vicar, who found himself convicted of a crime he did not commit in 1903. Thanks to the efforts of Arthur Conan Doyle, Edalji was pardoned in 1907. Barnes’ Arthur and George is a fictional account of these very different men and the unusual circumstances in which their lives intersected. Though, as a novelist, Barnes only adheres loosely to the facts of the case, it undoubtedly had an impact on Doyle’s interest in the wrongfully accused and gives us a glimpse into his somewhat tumultuous private life.
10. The Final Solution, by Michael Chabon
Holmes was said to have taken up beekeeping when he retired from sleuthing, and that’s where we find him in Michael Chabon’s novel, The Final Solution—an unnamed 89-year-old man (who may or may not be Sherlock Holmes) biding his time in the English countryside during WWII. But when a young mute boy wanders into his life with nothing but an African gray parrot as a companion, this detective may need to put his skills back to work to discover the origins of this strange boy and his pet that keeps repeating numbers in some strange German code.