|Damon Bonetti , Daniel Fredrick &|
The Lantern Theater Company, located at St. Stephen’s Church, 10th and Ludlow Streets, is presenting a farcical adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles through June 28. Presented as a Commedia dell’Arte piece with fixed stereotypes such as supreme idiots and men with false bravado, this version of The Hound of the Baskervilles is a hoot. The three person cast of Damon Bonetti, as Holmes, Daniel Fredrick as Lord Baskerville and Dave Johnson as Watson play additional multiple roles and make lightning-fast costume changes before you can even blink an eye. Typically, a “zanni” character is not only an idiot but is always hungry. Dr. Watson fits this bill as, absurdly, he is never given anything to eat while those around him eat their fill. He is quite the bumbling investigator but manages to make shocking discoveries almost by accident. According to Lantern’s artistic director Charles McMahon, “Dave Johnson has made a career out of playing idiots but has brought stupidity to a whole new level… (he is the) supreme dolt.” One might agree with this statement, but he is a lovable one, none-the-less. Damon Bonetti is quite the serious Holmes but we don’t see much of him in this role as he is busy entertaining us with a wide variety of preposterous persona. Daniel Fredrick is hysterical when he goes in and out of character…your laughter might produce tears! This play was written as a serious mystery. It has been retrofitted as a nonsensical one. It is uproarious on every level. Thanks to the excellent work of lighting designer Drew Billiau, lights and their absence produce a sensation of movement as well as a passage of time. Sound designer Christopher Colucci and set designer Meghan Jones add to the eeriness which grounds The Hound of the Baskervilles to its original roots. If you are familiar with the story, you will be excited with this new iteration. If you are not familiar with the original, you may be surprised by the ending. In any event, you surely will be delighted with the production. For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0395 or visit lanterntheater.org.