Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and 37 more characters take the Allen Contemporary Theatre stage for “Baskerville”

Allen Contemporary Theatre brings a laugh-out-loud version of an iconic Sherlock Holmes story to the stage.

Eric Levy (left) as Sherlock Holmes and Beau Dameron as Dr. Watson in “Baskerville” – Courtesy of Allen Contemporary Theatre

When it comes to Sherlock Holmes, Robyn Mead can say she’s been a fan of the fictional detective since birth. “The story in my family is that when my mom was in labor with me, my dad was reading Sherlock Holmes,” Mead said. “I think I come by it genetically somehow.” In other words, it doesn’t take a master of deduction to discover why Mead’s directing the upcoming production of “Baskerville” at Allen Contemporary Theatre, running from May 3-19.

Written by Ken Ludwig, “Baskerville” is a unique comedic take on one of Holmes’ most iconic cases, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” “It follows the actual story pretty much completely, but the difference is how it does it,” Mead said. “It adds in a lot of humor, largely because we have five actors playing about 39 different roles.”

The show features two actors in charge of capturing the essence of Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson (Eric Levy and Beau Dameron, respectively) with the other three cast members (Laura Jennings, Brian Hokanson and Jeff York) playing the remaining 37 characters. According to Levy, Holmes and Watson often anchor the core of the story, while the rest of the cast adds an “irreverent twist” to the proceedings through their many characters.

“It’s very fun, and it takes a really good group of actors to carry it right,” Mead said, praising the experienced cast for their work on the show. “I have to say, as a director, they made my job easier.”

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Mead said she looked for actors in the casting process “who have the ability to think on their feet” and could portray funny but realistic characters. She said that “audiences will instantly recognize Holmes and Watson” despite the show’s amusing twist, highlighting how Levy brings a mix of his own personality and a delivery befitting the traditional Arthur Conan Doyle version of Holmes to the role.

Levy enjoys the moments in the show where he can break out of the “serious detective” mold and crack the occasional fourth-wall-breaking joke with his scene partners. “Those moments are always fun for me,” Levy said.

Mead noted that the majority of the cast have performed in shows alongside one another before in some capacity or another, which helped the production quickly build chemistry. Levy even directed Jeff York in the last Allen Contemporary Theatre production, “Flanagan’s Wake.” Levy said the cast of “Flanagan’s Wake” left audiences impressed by its improvisational comedy, a feeling he and Mead want to capture again when it comes time for audiences to see the many character changes and humorous moments in “Baskerville.”

“I just hope they come out. They have a wonderful time, and then afterward, they think, ‘How did they do that?’ Mead said.

The Allen Contemporary Theatre production of “Baskerville” runs from May 3-19. For more information, including how to purchase tickets, visit

This interview was edited for clarity.


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