Carol’s Culture Corner: Sherlock Holmes is “well written and beautifully presented”

What can be more enticing than a mystery that is well written and beautifully presented? You will find all of that, and much more at Theatre 40’s production of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily, written by Katie Forgette, performed by a first class group of actors, and solved by the one and only Sherlock Holmes.

England’s famous and beloved actress, Lillie Langtry (Mellissa Collins) is being blackmailed for her past relationship with Edward, Prince of Wales, which could prove fatal to her reputation as well as that of the Prince. Through her friendship with playwright Oscar Wilde (Scott Facher), she seeks the aid of the inimitable Sherlock Holmes (Martin Thompson).

During the scenes that take place, Holmes discovers that the perpetrator of this extortion is Professor Moriarty (Ryan Moriarty) who is one of the most evil persons to walk the streets of London. It is Holmes’ job, along with his companion, Dr. Watson (John Wallace Combs), to stop Moriarty from his menacing threats which, of course, he manages to do in his inimitable way.

Theatre 40’s production is wonderful. The cast is especially outstanding. Martin Thompson’s characterization of Holmes is calm, cool, collected, and oh so suave. There is some comedy in the character of Oscar Wilde, which Scott Facher keeps down to perfection. Mellissa Collins is an elegant and charming Lilly Lantry. Kudos to Ryan Moriarty as Professor Moriarty who, we are told before the play begins, came on board without any rehearsing to take the place of the original actor who, due to an accident, could not continue in the role. (The namesake was just incidental!) The following actors, Alison Blanchard, Shawn Savage, and Anibal Silveyra, complete the roster of exceptional performers. The renowned Jules Aaron directs with panache.