Sherlock Holmes and the
Case of the Golden Goose
Adapted by Michael Menendian and John Weagly
This “Goose” is pleasingly cooked to consumption
|Raven Theatre presents|
|Sherlock Holmes and the
Case of the Golden Goose
Review by Lawrence Bommer
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose is not exactly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s equivalent version of Dickens’ “Christmas Carol.” The sole holiday element in his “The Adventure of the Blue Carbunkle” (the source of his hour-long musical adaptation) is a Christmas goose. The bird has passed through several hands, and a plumber has been falsely accused of grand larceny. So, alerted to the matter on Boxing Day, Sherlock Holmes (Tyler Rich) and Dr. Watson (Darren Hill), the resourceful and insightful detective of Baker Street and his game companion, must use a kind of retroactive deduction to trace the goose’s “chain of command.” Their goal: to find out who stole a famous blue diamond from the Countess of Morcar (who never appears). “The game’s afoot.”
The dramatization, by director Michael Menendian and John Weagly, efficiently employs multiple characters to chronicle the pell-mell action and multiple locales. Ever moving backwards in time to find the crime’s origin, the investigation takes Holmes to a goose farm, a London market, a “goose club” where the best fowls are selected, and the Hotel Metropole from where the jewel, which supposedly carries a curse (but here seems harmless enough), was first purloined. (There’s even a false goose, a red herring that’s new to the genre.) In the spirit of the season, it all ends in a welcome forgiveness of the inept thief.
Adding to the cheer are carols and favorites that punctuate the action, performed by the jazzy 11-member ensemble and sometimes sung by the audience. There are also a few insistent period jokes, like a newsboy proclaiming the good news that Tiny Tim has learned to walk (ignoring the fact that Dickens’ work takes place over 40 years earlier): Happily, Jack the Ripper never spoils the fun. Very short but sufficiently sweet, this “Goose” is cooked to consumption.
Sherlock Holmes… continues through December 29th at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark (map), with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays 3pm. Tickets are $15-$20, and are available by phone (773-338-2177) or online through their website (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at RavenTheatre.com. (Running time: one hour, without intermission)
Photos by Dean La Prairie
Tyler Rich (Sherlock Holmes), Darren Hill (Dr. John H. Watson), Conor Clark, Bryan Dawidowicz, Sophia Menendian, JoAnn Montemurro, Charlotte Ostrow, Symphony Sanders, George Goetschel, Dan Toot, Evan Voboril (ensemble)
behind the scenes