Theater in Livingston is ‘Elementary, My Dear Watson’
Now through September 10 the Blue Slipper Theater in Livingston is presenting a wild comedy called Baskerville.
Last night I sat in one of the oldest theaters in Livingston to see Baskerville, which is a take off on one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's best novels The Hound of the Baskervilles. The comedy was written for the stage by Ken Ludwig, and the Livingston production was directed by Peggy Weisgerber.
The theater is very nice and has the feel of an off Broadway, New York City, theater. It seats only about 55 people. As the lights went down and the play started, sound effects went off, fog machines started filling the stage with fog, projectors began to run.. Baskerville was coming alive.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson played by Joe Weisgerber and Dale Ruhd, were center stage and it was off. The audience started to laugh. Holmes began telling Watson that he could identify everything about the person who left a cane at 221B Baker Street.
As we sat in the theater imagining we were in London in the early 1900s, the cast of five had each actors playing 8 to 9 roles each. I grew up attending plays on Broadway in New York City and I am a theater snob. I was very impressed with this production. The sets moved around the stage, the costumes were great and as each actor played a different role the changed their makeup.
The characters where all more silly than the next. One character had an obvious fake beard and a hunchback and talked like Igor from the old Frankenstein movies of the 1940s.
Seeing the effort and how complicated the staging was, the actors and crew deserve a lot of credit for trying to pull off such a technically difficult show.
The audience laughed for the whole show which ran over three hours.
I admire people who love theater so much they spend hours and hours of rehearsal time, make costumes, build sets and perform for the local community. Baskerville is a wonderful effort and community theater at its finest.