Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sherlock Holmes: The Early Years

There are plenty of cute, winking jokes in this new (NYMF) musical, which playfully debunks the Sherlock Holmes mythology. Here, Holmes' vaunted claims of his superior intellect and of his extraordinary deductive skills are a source of amusement, as nearly every other character is quicker on the uptake. He doesn't realize that he's got a more-than-friendly interest in Watson, but most everyone else is wink-nudging whenever he introduces the doctor as his "flatmate". The disappointment is that the book scenes are more enjoyable than the musical ones: although the melodies are agreeable, the songs push too hard to be funny (as in the opener, when the ensemble sings that the fog in London is a nuisance) or don't do enough to add to the story. I found a lot to like about the book but I certainly didn't warm to its ocassional anachromisms: when one character shrieked "Awesome!" at another, I drilled a hole in my notebook with my pen.

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