The game is soon to be afoot at Tabard Theatre

By Ande Jacobson

Tabard Theatre Company opens its New Beginnings season on Friday, 13 September 2019 with the west coast premiere of Sherlock Holmes & the Mystery of the Crown Jewel. It’s a big story with all lots of charm and plenty of twists and turns as would be expected in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The show’s book, music, and lyrics were written by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman. The playwrights have woven several clever callouts to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s source material as their tantalizing musical mystery showcases characters both familiar and new in a family-friendly story that will delight audiences of all ages.

Photo credit: Edmond Kwong

The action runs all around London as a spate of jewel thefts need to be solved. Of course, there’s far more to it than one might first suspect, and much hinges on just how one defines a jewel.

To solve the case, Holmes (Ken Boswell) uses his impressive skills in the Art of Deduction and notices connections that others miss. He is joined by his trusty companion, Dr. Watson (Eric Berglund), whom he continues to instruct in deduction techniques. Holmes also calls in support from the Baker Street Irregulars (Luke Jennings, Carter Hulse, Gavin Hulse, Rayce Snyder, and Rylan Aburano) – an eager group of London street urchins who are Holmes’s eyes and ears around town. Early on, the Irregulars welcome a new member to their team (Alyssa Kim 9/12-21 / Chloe Fong 9/22-10/6), a young lad with a hidden past. Inspector Lestrade (Mark Blattel) of Scotland Yard and his associates also investigate, but as is often the case in a Holmes mystery, they miss a few things. Holmes’s nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Charles McKeithan), and Moriarty’s cohort, Tilly (Asha Kelly), figure heavily in the action as does the ever stoic Mrs. Hudson (Angela Harrington). Queen Victoria (Rebecca Brownson) also makes a pivotal appearance. The ensemble is filled out by Keith Pennings and Aishu Ramamuhrti.

David Bamberger directs this production, and he takes full advantage of the entire theater in his staging, as this story is bigger than the stage alone can contain. McKeithan does double duty not only portraying a very charismatic Moriarty but also serving as the fight choreographer.

The Quartet (Photo Credit: Jen Kiernan)

As written, the score calls for either the use of an accompaniment CD, or an electronic keyboard. Music director Paul Zawilski wanted to expand that a bit and, with the permission of the license holders, created an orchestration for a chamber quartet including keyboard (Zawilski), violin (Nathaniel Mailoa), clarinet (Ande Jacobson), and cello (Jen Kiernan). You can’t really have a Holmes musical without a violin, but using the full quartet adds a great deal of color.

Sherlock Holmes & the Mystery of the Crown Jewel runs Fridays – Sundays, 13 September – 6 October 2019. Note that the Saturdays alternate between matinees and evenings starting with a matinee on 14 September 2019, and beyond the Thursday night preview before opening, there is one regular Thursday night performance on 26 September. The runtime is slightly over two hours with one intermission.

Performances are at the Tabard Theatre located at 29 N. San Pedro Street, Suite 200, San Jose, CA 95110. The theater entrance is around the back of the building behind O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, and the performance space is upstairs. There is also an elevator from the lobby if stairs are a problem. Parking is conveniently located in the city garage across the street from the building, and Tabard validates parking most nights except when there are special city events (such as Sharks home games). For more information or to order tickets, see: Tabard Theatre.

Limited special for A Good Reed Review readers seeing performances on 9/20 or 9/21: A Good Reed Review readers can receive a 20% discount on Adult and Senior tickets for two performances only. When buying tickets for performances on Friday, 20 September or Saturday, 21 September, use the discount code “GoodRead” at checkout to receive the discount.

Please join us at Tabard Theatre for this rollicking, family-friendly, musical Sherlock Holmes adventure.

Sherlock Holmes & the Mystery of the Crown Jewel

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