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Sherlocking in Windom, TX
Windom, Texas is not a real hotbox of Sherlockian activities. This fact did not deter several brave Sherlockians from making the 75-mile trek on Saturday night to this sleepy, rural community near the Oklahoma border. Windom’s proximity to Oklahoma drew Tulsa Sherlockian Dean Clark from his nest. He was present, and accounted for, as were Pam and Steve Mason from Dallas. Another Sherlockian that was on hand was Herb Linder. Brad Keefauver, it seems, was the only alumni of The Great Whimsical Tour of Oklahoma and Texas that did not show up in Windom on Saturday night. What, do you ask, would cause seemingly normal people (myself excluded) to abandon their regular Saturday night doings to go so far? Well, the Master, of course, is the correct answer.
Windom, Texas is the home of The Kidz Krew Performing Arts. They were staging Sherlock Holmes and the Grimm Imbroglio an original work by Kidz Krew director, Lisa Avila. I heard about this production last Christmas and contacted Barbara Reeves, the Executive Director and she kindly had Ms. Avila contact me. Lisa Avila explained that the production would feature actors between the ages of six and fourteen. At the time, she was still writing the script. She expressed her pleasure that “real Sherlockians” would show any interest in her play. I assured her we were not Sherlockian Snobs. I provided her with the information regarding the meeting of The Diogenes Club of Dallas and explained why excursions were under the umbrella of The Crew of the Barque LONE STAR, Dallas’ oldest Sherlockian society.
The Diogenes Club of Dallas formed as a scholarly branch of the Crew but over the past decade, the two societies have flip-flopped. The Diogenes Club meets monthly and the Crew is for special events. Therefore, the Crew cruised to the north and we were all in our places with bright shiny faces, except for the ladies that visited the powder room before the curtains went up. We were there for the play’s final performance and to my surprise and delight, the Old Windom School Auditorium was packed. Many in attendance braved rural Texas roads to drive in from Bonham, 10 miles to the west. Our group quietly seated on the back row was introduced to the crowd as Sherlockians and I suspect that was the first time many had ever heard such a term.
Nyasha Alexander, Bailee Jordan,
The opening scene is in the sitting room at 221b Baker Street with Dr. Watson, played marvelously by Nyasha Alexander, and Mrs. Hudson (Haiden McCurry) before Holmes (Tristan Egan) makes his dramatic entrance where he stands by the front window and plays with Watson’s power of observation on someone on the street below. This was young Mr. Egan’s first role and though Holmes is never an easy character to play, Mr. Egan managed to be convincing in the lead role. The banter between Egan’s Holmes and Alexander’s Watson held the attention of the audience in general and with one Sherlockian in particular. The person being observed turns out to be the first of many visitors, all from the Brother Grimm’s Tales, to call upon Holmes. The arrays of characters are played by actors ranging between 7 and 14 years old and many are already seasoned stage veterans. The performance was not flawless but the few stumbles were handled quite professionally and by no means distracted from the stage action. Rebecca South stole the show as Puss in Boots. She has more than three years experience or nearly half her life since she is just eight.
The entire cast of Sherlock Holmes
The play had an extremely funny Bollywood moment when Holmes fell asleep. From out of nowhere, all of the actors emerge, and to the beat of India, they break into a Bollywood dance number only to disappear just as Holmes awakes. Everyone on both sides of the stage thoroughly enjoyed the evening. We were invited backstage afterwards to their version of a wrap party. This was really on of those brilliant Sherlockian events. Sherlock Holmes even served me a piece of cake!
The Wrap-Party Cake
Sherlock Holmes and the Grimm Imbroglio
Past 2011 Columns