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“Elementary, My Dear Watson, the play’s afoot!”

Review: Sherlock Holmes solves his greatest case at Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre

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“Sherlock Holmes, The Final Adventure” is a delightfully suspenseful success, as Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre celebrates its 53rd season by turning its stage into 1893 London, complete with villains, dangerous plots, dense fog and old-fashioned street lamps.

The world’s greatest detective is back! Sherlock Holmes, played by Charlie Winton, is fantastic as he calmly but with delightful craftiness plays the all-knowing sleuth in addition to his well-known brilliant character impersonations. Also included to delight the true Holmes fan are his famous little quips of wisdom, such as his memorable line, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

And, of course, Sherlock can see through anything obvious, but in “Sherlock Holmes, the Final Adventure,” Holmes finds it more difficult as he tackles his greatest and most dangerous case with his life in the balance, as he once again tangles with his greatest foe. The villain is Professor Morality, (played with delicious evil by Benjamin R. Jones), who threatens Sherlock with chicanery and murder.

The story starts out simple enough based on a stolen photo taken from the King of Bohemia (played with royal delight by Josh Kiev) by his jilted and hurt lover, the stunningly beautiful opera singer, Irene Adler, played to perfection with grace, charm and wit by Shannon Hoppe.

Narrated by Sherlock’s loyal sidekick, documenter and his ever present friend, is Dr. Watson. The good doctor is played with caring sensitivity by Michael Roark.

The bad guys are as delightful as the leads, like Madge Larrabee, played by Lauren Proctor, who may not be as innocent as she looks, or her brother, James Larrabee, played by Gabe Atchley, who might be … well, not sure. Or, Sid Prince, played by Scotty Phillips, who most definitely is … maybe the gun gave him away?

“Sherlock” is beautifully directed by Daniel DeVault, with a respectful nod to the great 1940s classic mystery films. The play is written by Steven Dietz and based on the original 1899 play written by William Gillette and Arthur Conan Doyle. 

The costumes designed by Miriam Creighton beautifully recreate the period. Alexis Lavon, the stage manager, and the rest of Chaffin’s excellent production staff, including Joy Tilley Perryman, Robin Lawshe, Kaitlin Barnett, David Greer (event manger), Adam Burnett (wonderful on-stage host who makes sure every special anniversary is honored) and all the wonderful waiters, including Brian Russell, who have a wild birthday song, hold together this amazing show and keep it running, including the incredible stage that comes down from the ceiling complete with actors and sets.

Dinner is served buffet-style, with an amazing feast from BBQ chicken, beef, cod,  chicken 'n dumplings, assorted veggies, homemade mashed potatoes, salads and desserts, like apple tort, pies and the crème brule.

The plays ends on Sept. 14. For tickets and information, go to www.chaffinsbarntheatre.com or call 615-646-9977.

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