Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents SHERLOCK HOLMES Aug. 10-26

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre presents

SHERLOCK HOLMES

AND THE CASE OF THE JERSEY LILY

by Katie Forgette

August 10-26, 2018

Broadway Theatre Center’s Cabot Theatre

 

Milwaukee, WI. … Legendary actress Lillie Langtry is being blackmailed by a mystery man, and there are only two people who can help her: the incandescent Oscar Wilde and the incomparable Sherlock Holmes! Katie Forgette’s delicious take on two of Britain’s greatest minds, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE JERSEY LILY, will bring together a cast of Milwaukee favorites under the direction of Marcella Kearns from August 10-26, 2018, at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Cabot Theatre in the Historic Third Ward.

 

Before Victorian socialite Lillie Langtry was one of the most famous actresses in London, she embarked on a potentially scandalous youthful romance with the heir to the throne! When she is blackmailed by a man who’s stolen highly intimate letters the two exchanged, she turns to her dear friend, Oscar Wilde, for help. And he knows there is but one man who can solve the case: master detective Sherlock Holmes!

 

While this story’s plot will take audiences all the way to London, MCT’s talented cast features some of Milwaukee’s best and brightest. Brian J. Gill and Ryan Schabach, last seen teaming up in our smash hit BOEING BOEING, will play partners again: Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend Dr. John Watson. Joining them in the adventure will be Rick Pendzich, fully embodying the irrepressible wit of Oscar Wilde, and Kay Allmand, portraying the enchanting actress Lillie Langtry.

 

In opposition to these four adventurers, Matt Daniels will play Professor Moriarty, the criminal mastermind and longtime rival to Sherlock Holmes. Karen Estrada – our Ruth Schudson Leading Lady for the 2018-19 season – and MCT newcomer Jesse Bhamrah round out the cast as Lillie’s housekeeper Mrs. Tory and Queen Victoria’s confidante Abdul Karim.

 

The adventures of Sherlock Holmes originally began in the novels A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, written by Arthur Conan Doyle. His novels and subsequent short stories quickly became a sensation in Great Britain, so popular that Doyle chose to kill off his creation at the end of a story titled “The Final Problem” – and was, shortly after, effectively forced to bring him back to life by a demanding public. The fictional detective’s fame has only increased from there. In addition to the 56 short stories and four novels written by Doyle himself, Sherlock has appeared in hundreds, if not thousands, of other print, stage, film and television adaptations. Among the most famous include a 14-film series starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, a more recent Guy Ritchie-directed franchise starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, an extensive British series from the 80s titled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the modern-era BBC drama Sherlock, the ongoing CBS procedural Elementary, and Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell novels which continue Holmes’s adventures with a young protégé in the early 20th century.

 

Playwright Katie Forgette’s script draws its inspiration partly from one of those adaptations: SHERLOCK HOLMES, an 1899 stage play written by William Gillette with Doyle’s blessing and aid. Onto that framework, she’s complemented the fictional characters of Holmes, Watson and Moriarty with allies and adversaries drawn from real life.

 

The playwright and legendary wit Oscar Wilde, author of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST and The Picture of Dorian Grey, is already well-known to modern audiences. But Lillie Langtry was a real, famous British-American actress – whose affair with the Prince of Wales and close friendship with Wilde are both factual as well – considered to be an inspiration for the Sherlock character Irene Adler. Additionally, Abdul Karim, confidante to Queen Victoria, is another historical figure, albeit one whose unique place as advisor and “Munshi” (or, “teacher”) to the queen was nearly erased from history by her son Bertie after her death.

 

SHERLOCK’s cast of local favorites includes Karen Estrada, this year’s recipient of the “Ruth Schudson Leading Lady” award. This show marks Estrada’s fifth production with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre; her most recent appearances were in the 2016-17 season, when she appeared in both A LOVELY SUNDAY FOR CREVE COEUR and GREAT EXPECTATIONS. MCT’s “Ruth Schudson Leading Lady” award is a donor-designated fund created to honor MCT co-founder Ruth Schudson and provide lasting support to our mission of employing and nurturing local theatre artists. The fund supports the work of one female actor each season.

 

During the run of this production, MCT will be partnering with the Friends of Milwaukee Public Library, a local nonprofit dedicated to celebrating all the Milwaukee library system has to offer, and working to keep its outstanding collections, resources and programs free and accessible for all. As part of our community partnership, MCT will be displaying Friends materials in the lobby of the Cabot Theatre, as well as sharing information about the Friends’ upcoming pop-up book sale at the Milwaukee Public Market on Sunday, August 26.

 

After the conclusion of SHERLOCK, MCT’s season will continue through April 2019, marking “A Time for Risk” with four additional plays. First, MCT will move to the Studio Theatre for CHAPATTI (Sept. 21 – Oct. 14), a tender, late-in-life Irish romance by Christian O’Reilly. Then, producing artistic director C. Michael Wright will present the World Premiere of Wisconsin playwright James DeVita’s holiday show CHRISTMAS IN BABYLON (Nov. 21 – Dec. 23). In 2019, C. Michael Wright will direct Stephen Metcalfe’s Off-Broadway success STRANGE SNOW (Feb. 22 – Mar. 17), a powerful tale of emotional fallout lingering long after the Vietnam War. Then, MCT returns to the Cabot Theatre for Richard Strand’s BEN BUTLER (April 12-28), a Civil War comedy, inspired by real events, that defies simple explanation.

 

This year will mark a change to MCT’s performance schedule. All five mainstage productions will now feature opening night performances on Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. Additionally, all Friday evening performances have been moved to 7:30 p.m.

 

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE JERSEY LILY performances will take place August 10-26, 2018 (Opening Night: Saturday, August 11), in the Broadway Theatre Center’s Cabot Theatre, 158 N. Broadway in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Tickets are available Monday through Saturday from noon-6:00 p.m. (noon-5:00 p.m. summer hours through August 4) at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, or by phone at (414) 291-7800. Tickets can be purchased online 24 hours a day at milwaukeechambertheatre.com. Group, student and senior discounts are also available. For more information, visit milwaukeechambertheatre.com. SHERLOCK is co-sponsored by Patrick & Julia Fennelly, George & Julie Mosher Family Foundation, and Cary & Susie Silverstein.

 

 

[ CAST ]

Lillie Langtry ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. Kay Allmand

Abdul Karim/John Smythe …………………………………………………………………………….. Jesse Bhamrah

Professor Moriarty …………………………………………………………………………………………. Matt Daniels

Mrs. Tory/Mrs. McGlynn ……………………………………………………………………………….. Karen Estrada

Sherlock Holmes ……………………………………………………………………………………………… Brian J. Gill

Oscar Wilde ………………………………………………………………………………………………… Rick Pendzich

Dr. John Watson …………………………………………………………………………………………. Ryan Schabach

 

[ PRODUCTION STAFF ]

Director……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Marcella Kearns

Stage Manager…………………………………………………………………………………………………… Judy Martel

Scenic Designer…………………………………………………………………………………………. Brandon Kirkham

Costume Designer……………………………………………………………………………………………… Kim Instenes

Lighting Designer……………………………………………………………………………………………. Eric Appleton

Sound Designer…………………………………………………………………………………………….. Matt Whitmore

Properties Designer……………………………………………………………………………………………… Heidi Salter

Dialect Coach………………………………………………………………………………………….. Raeleen McMillion

Fight Choreographer……………………………………………………………………………………….. Ryan Schabach

Assistant Director………………………………………………………………………………………………. Wes Schultz

 

[ PERFORMANCE INFORMATION ]

August 10-26, 2018
Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
 

 

 

 

10

7:30 p.m. P

11          

8:00 p.m. O

12

2:00 p.m.

15    1:00 p.m.*

7:30 p.m. V

16

7:30 p.m. T

17

7:30 p.m.

18      4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

19

2:00 p.m.

22
1:00 p.m.*
23           

7:30 p.m. T

24

7:30 p.m.

25      4:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

26

2:00 p.m.

P = Preview; O = Opening; T = Talkback; V = ViewPoints; *= Talk Theatre

 

[ SPECIAL EVENTS ]

 

–Pre-performance ViewPoints: Join us for William Gillette and Sherlock Holmes Onstage, a staged reading and discussion of a short Sherlock Holmes parody by William Gillette, the American actor and playwright who wrote the play from which MCT’s mainstage production is adapted. This free presentation and Q&A is on Wednesday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

 

–Pre-performance Talk Theatre: MCT producing artistic director C. Michael Wright will lead two lively, informative chats during the run of SHERLOCK. On Wednesday, August 15, our guest will be actor Matt Daniels. Then, on Wednesday, August 22, our guest will be SHERLOCK director (and MCT associate artistic director) Marcella Kearns. Talk Theatre always begins at 12:00 noon in the Skylight Bar & Bistro.

 

–Post-performance Talkbacks: Post-show discussions with the artists will take place following performances on Thursday, August 16 and Thursday, August 23.

 

[ BIOGRAPHIES ]

 

KAY ALLMAND – Lillie Langtry

Kay Allmand returns to MCT after appearing in A LOVELY SUNDAY FOR CREVE COEUR, FALLEN ANGELS, and JEEVES TAKES A BOW, as well as a staged reading of THE PRISONER OF ZENDA in 2017. Other recent Wisconsin credits include Sarah in TIME STANDS STILL at In Tandem, Catherine in ISAAC’S EYE, Truvy in STEEL MAGNOLIAS, Laura in THE GLASS MENAGERIE and the female track in THE 39 STEPS at Third Avenue Playhouse in Door County. She also spent three seasons with Door Shakespeare, 2009-2011. Kay has a BFA from Midwestern State University and an MFA from the University of South Carolina and was an acting intern at Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

 

JESSE BHAMRAH – Abdul Karim/John Smythe

Jesse is thrilled to be making his Milwaukee Chamber Theatre debut. Recent Milwaukee credits include A CHRISTMAS CAROL and MAN OF LA MANCHA (Milwaukee Repertory Theater). Regional credits include AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (Goodman Theatre), LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET (Chicago Children’s Theater), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and I HEART JULIET (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), and DISGRACED (NextStop Theater Company).

 

MATT DANIELS – Professor Moriarty

Matt is delighted to return to MCT where he previously played Phileas Fogg in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, Albert in A THOUSAND CLOWNS, and the title role in all three JEEVES plays. He has appeared on many Milwaukee stages, where some favorite credits include Dr. Carrasco in MAN OF LA MANCHA at Milwaukee Rep, Edward in THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE at First Stage, John Adams in 1776 at Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Pastor Jay in LUNA GALE at Renaissance Theaterworks, Reuven in THE CHOSEN at In Tandem Theatre, and Bolingbroke in RICHARD II with the late Milwaukee Shakespeare. He has also appeared at several regional theatres, Shakespeare festivals, and independent stages in New York. Matt’s directing work has been seen at MCT’s Montgomery Davis New Play Development series, Sunset Playhouse, and First Stage, where he also serves as the Director of the award-winning Young Company. Matt is a graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division.

 

KAREN ESTRADA – Irma Tory/Mrs. McGlynn

Karen Estrada is so glad to be back at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre after having most recently been seen in A LOVELY SUNDAY FOR CREVE COEUR and GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Karen has also had the privilege of working with First Stage, Next Act Theatre, In Tandem Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Skylight Music Theatre (including Skylight’s KidsWrites program), Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Splinter Group, numerous shows with Sunset Playhouse’s Bug in a Rug children’s theater, Musical Mainstage, with Bunny Gumbo’s Combat Theatre, and a collaboration with her sketch comedy troupe The Show and Danceworks Performance Company. Karen is a proud three-time alumna of “Disney on Classic” in Japan and Taiwan. She has taught at many schools of theatre including First Stage, MITY, Waukesha Civic and Next Act Theatre’s Next Actors program.

 

BRIAN J. GILL – Sherlock Holmes

Brian J. Gill is thrilled to be returning to MCT where he was last seen as Bernard in BOEING BOEING. Chicago credits include The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Victory Gardens, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Provision Theater, The Poetry Foundation, Apple Tree Theatre and Famous Door; Milwaukee credits include Milwaukee Shakespeare, Renaissance Theaterworks, First Stage, goats & monkeys (co-founder and company member) and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Regionally, Brian has performed at Theatre at the Center, the Illinois and Texas Shakespeare Festivals, Allenberry Playhouse, and Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. He is also the narrator of over three dozen audio books, all available through audible.com. Brian trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London as a member of the First International Artistic Fellowship and is currently an Assistant Professor of Performance at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

 

RICK PENDZICH – Oscar Wilde

A graduate of UW-Whitewater, Rick Pendzich has performed in seven Milwaukee Chamber Theatre mainstage shows: Fred in FALLEN ANGELS, himself in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) [REVISED], Max in LEND ME A TENOR, Eustace in JEEVES INTERVENES, Floyd in THE FOURTH WALL, Stanley in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, and Sandy Tyrell in HAY FEVER. Other favorite roles include Centipede in JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH at First Stage, Goss in BUG at Splinter Group, The Gentleman Caller in THE GLASS MENAGERIE at In Tandem Theatre and Mark Cohen in RENT at Skylight Music Theatre.

 

RYAN SCHABACH – Dr. John Watson

This is Ryan’s third appearance with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre; he was previously seen playing Robert in BOEING BOEING. In Wisconsin, he has had the great fortune of performing with Next Act, In Tandem, Door Shakespeare, Third Avenue Playhouse, Forward Theater Company and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. He graduated from UW-Madison’s MFA acting program where he worked on new play development with Wisconsin playwright Richard Kalinoski. Ryan spent three seasons with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, thirteen seasons at Unity Theatre in Brenham, TX and can be seen this holiday season in his tenth British Panto at Stages Rep (Houston). He is a proud member of AEA.

 

MARCELLA KEARNS – Director, MCT Associate Artistic Director

Marcella Kearns returns to MCT as a director after 2016’s VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE. A Milwaukee-based actor, director, and teaching artist, Marcy also serves as MCT’s associate artistic director and as an instructor with Carthage College and First Stage. Other local directing credits include LILLY’S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE, ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, and MOCKINGBIRD at First Stage. Next up will be the world premiere of Alice Austen’s GIRLS IN THE BOAT with the First Stage Young Company. Marcy has appeared onstage at MCT in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS, JEEVES IN BLOOM, BOEING BOEING, and FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE. She holds an MFA in Acting from the University of South Carolina and is a former Fulbright Fellow (Austria).

 

#####

 

MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATRE

Founded in 1975, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) produces intimate and accessible theatrical works that engage and challenge the audience, while employing and nurturing principally local theatre artists. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director C. Michael Wright and Managing Director Kirsten Finn, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

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