NAPPANEE — “Winding your way down Baker Street...”
To folks of a certain age, hearing those words might conjure up a melody from a popular 1970s tune. But the thespians of NorthWood High School are looking to change that, by leading their audiences along a mysterious and madcap journey down that same legendary avenue.
The timeless tale of “Sherlock Holmes” will be unveiled at NorthWood High School this weekend, carrying guests through a raucous and rollicking adventure brimming with intrigue, deception, and hilarity. The show will take place Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10, with a 7 p.m. curtain time, as well as a Sunday, Nov. 11 matinee which begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door at a cost of $4 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
The suspenseful sojourn through historic London is the setting in which Sherlock Holmes (Zach Telschow) first appears. Holmes is grappling with his famed and fabled sworn enemy Moriarity (Chayla Bellman) to retrieve a batch of letters which contain secrets that could greatly influence the various echelons of English society. If Moriarity is successful, pandemonium and anarchy could prevail, while Holmes’s mission is both personal and professional, with the life and safety of a beloved woman also at stake.
This production features the talents of several seniors, including Telschow in the leading role, along with Nathan Bailey as Sid Prince and Sam Zent as Dr. Watson. Telschow offers generous praise for his castmates and for the direction of Steve Phillips, all of whom have been extremely supportive and skillful during the past eight weeks of rehearsal.
“I really thought this play was going to be a challenge, but the people I’ve been performing with have made it so easy,” Telschow said. “When we’re on stage, the lines just flow together so well, everyone just does a great job. Steve’s been a great director as well.”
Telschow notes that during the earliest days of preparation for the show, some rather unorthodox measures had to be utilized in order to help the cast become familiar with the complexities and nuances of their British personas.
“During our first practice, we didn’t have our scripts yet, so we had to use this old-school projector that looked like something out of the 1920s in order to learn about our characters,” Telschow grinned. “It was hilarious, just great,” he said, adding that it was something he’d likely always remember. Sam Zent, who portrays Dr. Watson, has been involved with several presentations during her four years at NWHS, but this outing marks one of her first opportunities to take on a leading role.
“One of the challenges is still memorizing scripts,” Zent observed. “I’ve loved working with Zach, he’s been great to work with.” She also credits the diverse menagerie of underclassmen for enhancing the show. “All of the younger kids have been great.”
Another element of the play that often goes unappreciated is the hard work that goes into finding appropriate period costumes and creating thematic set designs. Joanna Guckenberger, who has led the troupe in locating the apparel, said.
“Oh my gosh, we find things anywhere we can. We’ve been to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the Nappanee United Methodist thrift store. We even had things stashed away upstairs.” Guckenberger also credited Sharon Telschow for lending her artistic expertise in working on the sets.
The full cast list for “Sherlock Holmes,” in order of their appearance, is as follows:
Newsboy 1 — Garret Flowers
Newsboy 2 — Payton Laguardia
Foreman — Conner McGuire
Madge Larrabee — Bailey Dahlgren
James Larrabee — Rychie Nagy
Teresa — Kate Minder
Sid Prince — Nathan Bailey
Sherlock Holmes — Zach Telschow
Alice Faulkner — Destiny Hossler
Mrs. Bassick — Lorrain Hakes
Ginger — LeAnn Ailes
Pepper — Morgan Correll
Flower Woman — Autumn Eagan
Elegant Lady — Makayla Hauptli
Gentleman — Nolan McBride
Detective — Dane Wysong
Professor Moriarity — Chayla Bellman
Joan — Kaylin Pearson
Matchgirl — Nicole Bliss
Dr. Watson — Sam Zent
Mrs. Hudson — Brooklyn Allen
Lady Edwina — Bailey Murphy
Prince Carl — Zack Snider
Gashaus Gertie — Alexis Behl
Maggie Baskerville — Audra Graber
Londoners — Mykayla Newman.