The Brillion News
What happens when the world’s best-known detective quits? You hire a new best-known detective, of course.
At least that’s the premise behind “Moriarty’s Revenge,” Reedsville High School’s 2016 Senior Play. In this script, James Watson is not really the assistant but actually the brains behind the famous Holmes/Watson duo. “Sherlock Holmes” is nothing more than a character Watson created and then hired an actor to bring to life. The fact that Holmes seems to change form every now and then is easily explained away, as he is “a master of disguises.”
Now when Watson and his current “Holmes” help put bad guy Moriarty away, the evil villain vows horrifying revenge – and then escapes. Holmes passes off his famous hat, cloak, and pipe: this may be a good gig, but it’s not worth his life. Lucky for Watson, actor Phineas Carbunckle Hodges – who apparently hasn’t been following the news of late – answers his ad and takes the job. The first case the newest Holmes/Watson duo takes on then turns out to be a hilariously complex web of disguises and alter egos, kidnappings, wailing in the dark – and dead guys. The story pops back and forth among a courtroom, busy street, detective’s office, jail cell, an evildoer’s lair — and throw in a cemetery chase scene of sorts, and then the whole mystery wraps up in a train station!
Reedsville’s Class of 2016 has been spending their extra hour preparing to perform “Moriarty’s Revenge.” They are continuing an annual tradition at Reedsville: the senior play goes further back than anyone around here can recall. Every senior preparing to graduate in spring is eligible to participate, and this year almost every one of them is doing so, each to his or her own degree of interest and availability.
From choosing a play that suits their particular group to running auditions and casting parts to running rehearsals and helping each other off script, the students themselves have run this show. They’ve run to the props closet and Goodwill and their grandmothers’ attics to outfit each other. They teamed up to design and build a set that slides from scene to scene in fluid speed. They bounce around each other’s sports, work, and club schedules to find minutes where they can run a scene here or there. Sometimes they’ve been able to work the play needs into their academic and vocational class schedule: the advertising graphics, program, and team t-shirt design gave an independent computer graphics student a project with immediate publication; set design gave a special needs student an opportunity to problem-solve and experiment with potential solutions.
Co-directors Kimmy Mangin and Matthew Winrich head up the cast. Winrich is also playing a leading role as James Watson. The Holmes are played by Cole Kanter and Wyatt Hassemer; they are referred to on set as “Holmes#1” and “TheBigHolmes” for clarification. Kayla Wendland plays the role of Catherine, Watson’s detecting partner and fiancé but with her own professional goals. Morgan Cook is the nefarious landlady Mrs. Essex, and Brenna Kiekhaefer as Leotold Monte (of Monte Hall) brings in the murder case that sends everything into chaos. Moriarty and his hench (hunch?) man Klaatu are played by Trent Adler and Kendra Witak – for every yin, there is a yang, it seems. The cast is filled out with many more memorable characters who double as set crew.
The Reedsville Senior Class’s performances of “Moriarty’s Revenge” are Friday and Saturday, 7:00, at the high school. Admission will be charged. Refreshments will be served at a reception between acts so guests can share some laughs with the cast.