First, there was Shakespeare in the Park. Now, there is Sherlock Holmes on the porch.
Manhattan’s oldest house is turning its grounds over to a play starring the famous detective. Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem, where former Vice President Aaron Burr once lived, is staging Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure on its grounds during several evenings in June.
“The audience sits on the [stone terrace] in front of the house, and they watch the action of the play unfold on the [terrace], steps and porch of the house,” director Vincent Carbone, who coordinates the public programs at the historic home.
We're in tech week for #MJMSherlock ! Here are a couple of shots from earlier rehearsals. Director @vincentjcarbone and the actors can't wait to share their work with you! For tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sherlock-holmes-the-final-adventure-tickets-45973998467 #mjm1765 #mjm253 #theatre #UptownArts
The play by Steven Dietz merges two of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories, A Scandal in Bohemia and The Final Problem, to bring together Holmes’ best-known foes: “In this one story, he’s trying to outsmart and outwit Professor Moriarty while also coming to the aid of Irene Adler.”
The cast of eight will be dressed in entirely in black, white and shades of grey, a color palette that carries through to the props and sets. “This is all done in an effort to convey this message that the world of the play is like a chess board and everyone — Moriarty, Holmes, Irene Adler — are all positioning themselves and using strategy to outsmart each other.”
Every show at Morris-Jumel has a connection to the 1800s, when its most influential resident Eliza Bowen (then Jumel, then Burr) thrived there as a female entrepreneur, living to age 90. “Whenever we do a show here, we want to do something that’s within roughly the timeline of something Eliza Jumel would’ve watched or was within her time period,” says Carbone. Past shows have included The Importance of Being Earnest, which took the audience through the house and gardens to watch the show in the settings of Oscar Wilde's play, and Dracula.
Since The Final Adventure takes place entirely outdoors, if the chance of rain is greater than 50% an hour and a half before showtime, the show will be canceled. Audiences can exchange their tickets for a different date.
As for how they’ll recreate Holmes and Moriarty’s infamous tussle without having access to a waterfall, you’ll just have to see the show to find out.
Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure plays June 15, 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$30. Morris-Jumel Mansion is located at 65 Jumel Terrace, Harlem; morrisjumel.org