THE LEGACY OF BAKER STREET – Written by Brian Dowling; Directed by Dan Schock. Produced by Coal Creek Theatre of Louisville (800 Grant Street, Louisville) through November 11th. Tickets available at 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org.
It’s always so enjoyable to drive up to Louisville for a night of entertainment at the charming little theatre in the park. It’s fun to see how they make their space work for whatever production they are doing and revel in the feeling of a true community theatre. I’ve gone enough times now that I’m beginning to recognize and look forward to seeing familiar faces. While they usually choose tried and true scripts, they also sponsor a Playwright’s Showcase that gives local Front Range authors a chance to see and hear a new work being read.
Such was the case with their current production. THE LEGACY OF BAKER STREET was written – possibly a first effort – by local playwright/actor Brian Dowling to, in his own words, “create an action-adventure for women.” This is accomplished by his unveiling of the characters of Felicity Watson and Charlotte Holmes (sister to Enola??). They have inherited their respective father’s abilities to analyze a situation and act decisively to solve the problem. Dowling has a nice touch with dialogue and has carefully constructed plausible back stories for both women.
Felicity is the more thoughtful, cautious one while Charlotte bulls ahead into dangerous situations with abandon. Together they create both a thinking and an acting pair of detectives. However, no matter how carefully you stage it, women engaged in physical fighting rarely works on stage. The people in the audience drop back mentally and begin to worry about the pseudo-fighters getting hurt in real life. It’s just a normal human reaction. It’s more interesting to see women use their brains to outsmart the villains. I grant you, sometimes it just takes a firm kick in the ass to overcome adversity.
The plot involves finding Gregory, the curator of the reconstructed Baker Street office of Holmes (the original has been razed), who has been kidnapped. John Watson, who is still alive, gets involved and Sherlock and Irene Adler show up to offer consolation and advice to Charlotte. It’s a bit of a convoluted plot that thoroughly introduces us to these new characters and provides a set up for what I have a sneaky feeling will be one or two more sequels.
The gang from Coal Creek do their usual competent job of putting together a well-dressed authentic set with movable parts that work efficiently. Jaccie Kitts as Charlotte and Staci York as Felicity created a pair of characters that work well together, are different enough to be interesting, and share a common goal. Staci brings a wry humor and a reluctant acceptance of the impetuous behavior of her partner. Jaccie, on the other hand, rarely sees danger in her quest to get to the truth. She shares the annoying habit of her father in revealing obscure information about everyone in sight by examining the dust on their shoes or the soup stain on their tie. It’s enjoyable to see how the whole team worked together to bring this new script to the stage.
Another fun evening at Coal Creek!
A WOW factor of 8!!