Entertainment :: Theatre

The Hound of the Baskervilles

by J. Peter Bergman
Contributor
Friday Jun 29, 2012
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Greg Jackson, Dan Domingues and Jonathan Brody in "Hound of the Baskervilles"
Greg Jackson, Dan Domingues and Jonathan Brody in "Hound of the Baskervilles"  (Source:Kathleen A. Fahle)

Thrice and yearly, it seems to be, that I sit and watch "The Hound of the Baskervilles," first two years in a row at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA and now at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, VT. It’s a fun play, a funny idea, but sometimes from this critical perspective too much is really more than enough. Still, I do like to see new people taking on a favorite work and making it their own, as the three men in Weston are doing right now.

It is hard to compete with the Latin beauty of Josh Aaron McCabe, but Dan Domingues is almost there. Jonathan Croy’s fabulous Watson is about to be swept out to sea by the quiet nuttiness of Jonathan Brody and the romantic heights that Ryan Winkles can achieve in the role of Henry Baskerville are almost surpassed by Greg Jackson.

Bravo, Weston, for entertaining an audience that has had wonderful opportunities to see this show with that exceptional cast of resident actors in Lenox. Bravo, again, for utilizing the directorial talents of Mark Shanahan whose own experiences with this play done elsewhere have given him some vision and insight into this slapstick comedy culled from a more serious mystery.

The cast in Weston, as indicated, is spectacular. With the exception of Brody, who only takes on a few roles, the enormous variety of parts undertaken by Jackson and Domingues is mind-boggling.

The cast in Weston, as indicated, is spectacular. With the exception of Jonathan Brody, who only takes on a few roles, the enormous variety of parts undertaken by Greg Jackson and Dan Domingues is mind-boggling.

Hugh Landwehr has provided most workable set and Patricia E. Doherty, appropriate costumes. Sean Hagerty underscores the show with sound effects and music that will almost make you think you’re watching a film until the actors do what they need to do to break through the fourth wall and take us all on.

Christopher S. Chambers has done a fine job lighting this labyrinth of a comedy, so much of which takes place at night out on the moor with the death-throws of the great Grippen Mire laying in wait for unsuspecting victims.

The romantic period stage at the Weston Playhouse lends itself perfectly as a frame for this play.

Produced in association with The Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts, where the company played this for two weeks prior to coming to Dorset, Vermont, the show already has a comfortable feeling about it, as though the actors have already perked their parts and perfected their onstage relationships. Seen at a final preview, the play was quite ready to meets its audience.

"The Hound of the Baskervilles" runs through July 7 at the Weston Playhouse, 703 Main Street in Weston, Vermont. For info and tickets, call 802-824-5288 or visit www.westonplayhouse.org/.

J. Peter Bergman is a journalist and playwright,living in Berkshire County, MA. A founding board member of the Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition and former New York Correspondent for London’s Gay News, he spent a decade as theater music specialist for the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives at Lincoln Center in NYC, is the co-author of the recently re-issued The Films of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy and a Charles Dickens Award winner (2002) for his collection of short fiction, "Counterpoints." His new novel ""Small Ironies" was well reviewed on Edge and in other venues as well. His features and reviews can also be read in The Berkshire Eagle and other regional publications. His current season reviews can be found on his website: www.berkshirebrightfocus.com. He is a member of NGLJA.

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