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Norm Woodel as Watson in Holmes and Watson by Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (photo by Emergence See Photography).
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (BTE), the professional Equity company in residence at the McAninch Arts Center, opens its 2019-2020 season with Jeffrey Hatcher’s Holmes and Watson, directed by Ron May, September 5 - October 6. Full of twists and turns, this is a riveting and clever adventure from award-winning playwright Hatcher, who co-wrote the stage adaptation of “Tuesdays with Morrie” with author Mitch Albom and penned the screenplay to the 2015 film Mr. Holmes starring Ian McKellen.
In Holmes and Watson, it’s been three years since the mysterious “death” of Sherlock Holmes at Reichenbach Falls. There have been many who have claimed to be Holmes, all de-bunked as imposters by the faithful partner of the sleuth, Watson. Now three separate men insist that they are the famous sleuth, having survived that encounter at the Falls.
Holmes and Watson was commissioned by the Arizona Theatre Company for its 2016-2017 50th anniversary season. The cast includes Buffalo Theatre Ensemble members Robyn Coffin (Matron), Kurt Naebig (Holmes #1) and Norm Woodel (Watson).
Director Ron May is a COD alumnus (Class of 1994) and past John Belushi Scholarship recipient who studied with BTE artistic director Connie Canaday Howard. Says May, “Back when I was a student at COD, it was Connie that suggested I turn my focus to directing. Her suggestion changed the direction of my life so I see the chance to direct for BTE as an opportunity to complete a wonderful karmic circle.”
May is also the founding artistic director for Tempe Arizona's Stray Cat Theatre where he has directed more than three dozen shows. Other directing credits include Phoenix Theatre Actors Theatre, Phoenix's Nearly Naked Theatre, Black Theatre Troupe and Planet Earth Theatre and Arizona State University's Mainstage in Tempe, Ariz. He was named a finalist for the 2018 Zelda Fichandler Award, recognizing an individual who has made, and who continues to make, a significant contribution to their community through extraordinary work in theater in the Western region of the U.S. He also was nominated as an Artist for the 2019 Governor's Arts Award.
The balance of the artistic/design team for this production includes Pauline Olesky (Scenic Design), Rachel Lambert (Costume/Hair/Makeup Design), Claire Chrzan (Lighting Design) and Christopher Kriz (Sound Composition and Design).For tickets or more information visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630.942.4000. Readers will note this play contains adult themes and language.
Buffalo Theatre Ensemble to Open New Season with Jeffrey Hatcher's Holmes and Watson