You may recall our announcement of the opening of two one-act plays by Andrew Joffe, BSI ("Sir Charles Halle"), starring Paul Singleton, BSI ("Covent Garden"). In it, I mentioned that if you're in New York in December, you should make it a point to see The Blue Carbuncle & the Gift of the Magi - a nice mashup of Conan Doyle and O. Henry. The details are:
The Blue Carbuncle with Sherlock Holmes & The Gift of the MagiWell, it turns out that even though I'm a big Joffe/Singleton fan, you shouldn't take my word for it, oh no. Please, see what the inestimable Susan Rice, ASH, BSI, 2s. ("Beeswing") had to say.
Adapted from stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & O. Henry
By Andrew Joffe
Directed by Kathleen Brant
Musical Direction: Jeffrey Buchsbaum
With Paul Singleton as Sherlock Holmes
Dec. 6 - Dec. 22, Tues thru Sat.
At: The WorkShop Theater Company
312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY
Reservations through Theatermania:
I know you're all aware of the current production of Blue Carbuncle and Gift of the Magi, adapted for the stage by Andrew Joffe and starring Paul Singleton. I saw it tonight, and I'm doing you a favor by telling you to take out your calendars and reserve a ticket for yourself NOW. Andrew's adaptation of BLUE manages to demonstrate all the warmth every Sherlockian perceives in the friendship of Holmes and Watson without ever needing to put it into words. You think you have seen Paul play Holmes, but until you see this production, you have not seen him be Holmes, and I'm glad to report his Watson is above reproach. The Gift of the Magi is a lovely piece of lagniappe, as is an opening chorus of contemporary holiday music, some of which is extremely funny.
And just so you don't think that Susan and I are simply Kool-Aid drinking Sherlockians and FOPS (Friends of Paul Singleton), take a look at what Backstage added:
Amidst all the big-budget holiday theatrical fare, I sincerely hope theatregoers will find time to enjoy this delightful offering at a tiny Midtown black-box theatre. It overflows with the true spirit of the season.
Both tales have been cleverly adapted by Andrew Joffe and imaginatively staged by Kathleen Brant to include the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan Christmas, complete with jubilant carolers and a street-corner violinist (Ken Linsk). Touches like an invisible O. Henry (played with buoyant good humor by Richard Kent Green) helping his character Della on with her coat are wonderful. Jodie Bentley and Tyler Hollinger manage to avoid easy sentimentality and find the camaraderie and love, with an undercurrent of erotic passion, that bind O. Henry's famous romantic pair. Paul Singleton gives us brief glimpses of the emotional loneliness behind the pipe-chomping Holmes' piercing intellect and deftly illuminates the famous sleuth's unswerving moral passion, while Todd Butera creates an earthy, good-natured Watson who has great admiration and compassion for his longtime friend.
Please click through to the Backstage site for the full review.
Have you seen the plays? Let me - and the rest of the readership know what you thought of it by leaving a comment below.