“Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” is a rollicking, raucous piece of theater that stays fairly true to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original classic, "The Hound of the Baskervilles” (written in 1902, but set in 1889). The version opening on The Playmakers’ stage on October 25 is by award winning playwright, Ken Ludwig, who puts his own twist on this classic story.

Ludwig’s bright, shiny, whodunit entertainment should fill the community’s preference for comedy when it runs Oct 25, 27, 29, November 1,3,5,8,9, 2019 at The Playmakers’ Theatre, 121 W. 3rd St, Grove, Ok. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. The doors open thirty minutes prior to these curtain times. There will be snacks, drinks and a display appropriate to the show, so guests are encouraged to come a bit early.

Ken Ludwig is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright who has written over twenty-eight plays and musicals, including six shows on Broadway and seven in London's West End. The Playmakers produced another favorite Ludwig comedy in 2013, “Fox on the Fairway”.

If you aren’t in the habit of seeing the good theatre that The Playmakers perform, ‘Then It’s Elementary, My Dear!’ Reservations are easy to make. Just leave a message at (918) 786 8950 and a volunteer will return your call to confirm your reservation. Or just email your reservation to groveplaymakers@yahoo.com.

Adult tickets are $15 each, and students, lower elementary through college are $8 each. Group rates are available. Major credit cards are accepted.

In the mystery by Doyle, the roles of Sherlock and Watson are reversed with Watson becoming the main character and Sherlock his companion. The Playmakers help the fun along by casting women in the title roles in Ludwig’s version. Ova Jean Siemens takes on the role of Watson, accompanied by Pam Leptich as Sherlock. Don Simpson directs.

Sherlock’s use of logic, deduction, and science may be only loosely observed in this comic mystery as some forty other characters are all played by only three actors: Joan Engel, David Simpson, & Brian Turner. Obviously, it’s a farce, moved along by under-dressing and Velcro and a backstage crew of masterful quick-change artists, who will, no doubt, need a primary spot in the bows at the end of a performance.

Arthur Conan Doyle has his protagonist say: “That which is clearly known hath less terror than that which is but hinted at and guessed.” You don’t need to re-read the original story, however, to enjoy this production. Holmes begins the search for clues with Watson. “They meet with dozens of folk in locations such as crowded railway stations, foggy London streets, forbidding English moors and one gloomy mansion. There are clues galore, plenty of dead ends and a sizable puzzle to solve to ferret out the truth. But know it is all in good fun – no scare-fest at all…All that is needed by the audiences is a desire to be humored with a willingness to let go of inhibitions to laugh, chuckle or merely chortle or snicker.” (David Siegel, D.C. Metro)

The Playmakers have experience with this type of comedy through previous productions: “The Complet Wks of Wm Shkspr” (1997); “Greater Tuna” (1999); “The Complete History of America” (1999); “Farndale Avenue Housing Estates Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery” (2004); “Farndale… Christmas Carol” (2006); Neo-Futurists--“Don’t Let the Baby Go Blind” (2015); Hitchcock Radio Plays” (2016) and most recently, “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” (2017).

They have experience, also, with physical comedy from their work in the public schools, teaching Commedia dell’arte (slapstick comedy) to 6th graders for ten years and sponsoring two workshops on farce and physical comedy for Playmakers’ actors led by Sara Romersberger, formerly of SMU’s Drama School.

“Baskerville” is produced with assistance from the Oklahoma Arts Council and in cooperation with Samuel French, Inc., 45 West 25th St, New York, NY.

Playmakers to celebrate National Adopt-a-Dog month

In conjunction with “Baskerville”, The Playmakers are partnering with local dog kennels to promote the adoption of black dogs in October for National Adopt-a-dog month. Legends abound about black dogs are not usually complimentary, so to combat this stereotype, photos of black dogs from The Second Chance Pet Rescue and Kozy Kennel in Grove will be on display in the “Wing.”

The Playmakers will accept used quilts or blankets from audience members for donation to Second Chance Pet Rescue.

The following pet boarding facilities offer discounts to those attending the play. If you provide similar services, and wish to partner with this cause, please leave a message at 918 786 8950.

Kozy Kennel: 10% off boarding, one time, for one pet per family; to be used by November 22nd.

Doggie-Do Grooming and Boarding: 20% off a one-time grooming or a 10% off a one-time boarding of one pet per family; to be used by November 22nd.

Cloud K-9 Grooming Salon & Retreat: 20% off a one-time grooming for one pet per family; to be used by Jan 1, 2020.

Weeknight performances will offer special drinks available for those attending. Orders will be taken before curtain and will be ready for intermission, along with finger snacks and cookies…all named for dogs. Similar concessions will be available at Sunday matinees.

A Playmaker volunteer will be discussing fun facts with HS students the week of opening: about Arthur Conan Doyle, legends about black dogs, how the idea of the family curse became a basis for the original story, publishing in the Edwardian era and comparisons of more recent movies and TV series with Sherlock and Watson.