Latest Cruiser Theatre Co. show is “fast paced” and “magical”

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Photo courtesy of the Cruiser Theater Company
Aidan Kennedy, who portrays Sherlock Holmes, posing on an antique sofa being used in the set during a recent rehearsal.

Groveport Madison High School’s Cruiser Theatre Company will bring a new twist on a timeless classic.

The theatre troupe will present “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol,” by John Longenbaugh on Jan. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. both nights in the Groveport Madison High School auditorium, 4475 S. Hamilton Road.

Tickets are available online and at the door. Buy online and it’s $7 general admission or $5 for students and seniors. At the door all prices increase by $2. Visit cruisertheatre.weebly.com for information.

“At this time, we are planning to have live, in person audiences in the Groveport Madison High School performing arts center,” said Erin McLaughlin, Groveport Madison High School theatre director. “Seating will be assigned and socially distanced by family group and masks will be required. As always, the situation is fluid and COVID protocols may be subject to change.”

About the show
“(Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ is a timeless classic that has a special place in many of our hearts and as I was considering what shows to produce this school year, I couldn’t get the idea of ‘A Christmas Carol’ out of my head,” said McLaughlin. “Myriad stage adaptations of this story exist, and I perused several of them, but script after script proved unsuitable due to logistics or being too musically demanding or because I simply didn’t like the way it was written. Then I stumbled across this masterpiece, and within the first few lines I knew ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol,’ was the one. Victorian British literature is my favorite,and crime and detective media are increasingly popular in this modern age.”

She said the script seamlessly blends the story of “A Christmas Carol” with characters and plot elements from Sherlock Holmes.

“It’s fast-paced and fluid and positively magical,” said McLaughlin, who said she considers the play to be a drama. “However, there is certainly humor throughout.”

She said Aidan Kennedy is appearing as Sherlock Holmes in the show.

“He’s doing an incredible job bringing his character to life and memorizing all of his lines,” said McLaughlin.

Challenges for actors and crew
“There are no scene breaks in this show, it flows start to finish with no acts or scenes marked in the script,” said McLaughlin. “Once he comes onstage, Sherlock Holmes only leaves once, towards the very end, for perhaps 90 seconds and then he’s back on again.”

She said the show challenges the cast and crew with the need to show various locations and transition between them quickly and seamlessly, which is a technical challenge.

“We’re also planning to use fog machines in this show, which I have not done before.” said McLaughlin. “I believe ‘The Little Mermaid’ was the last time the Cruiser Theatre Company used such technology.”

Other upcoming performances
This season, the Cruiser Theatre Company will also present: “Goodness Gracious,” by Hank (Henry) Kimmel as the Cruiser Theatre Company’s “Play-in-a-Day” on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.; and “Fiddler on the Roof’ as the spring musical on April 7-10 at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday matinee). All performances will be in the Groveport Madison High School auditorium, 4475 S. Hamilton Road.

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