A Study in Scarlet | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 1 2013
Price: $22
Arthur Conan Doyle introduced Sherlock Holmes in the 1887 novella on which this new adaptation is based, and that makes it a fascinating historical document. We get to see Holmes at a point when most of his well-known characteristics are present but haven't yet solidified into paradigm or cliche. He's a brilliant if desultory college student, pursuing what we might now call a self-designed major and displaying what we might now identify as autistic-spectrum behavior. His deductive method is still such a novelty that it gets its own chapter. And the story itself is peculiar, featuring a long flashback to the American west and—believe it or not—the depredations of some evil Mormons. Trouble is, Doyle's structure is just as peculiar as his story. The flashback appears as a kind of extended coda, after the case has already been solved and all the tension dissipated. Adapter/director Paul Edwards doesn't do anything to fix that, so the final third of Promethean Theatre Ensemble's 90-minute production is plain tedious, Mormons notwithstanding. —Tony Adler



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