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  The Hound of the Baskervilles Reviews
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles
City Lit Theater
Thru - Nov 10, 2019

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City Lit Theater

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times- Somewhat Recommended

"...Some of that brilliance sporadically surfaces in McCabe's toothless adaptation for City Lit, which he also directed. Set in 1889, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" revolves around a curse involving an allegedly demonic hound with a penchant for eviscerating heirs to the ancient Baskerville estate. The supposedly supernatural beast first appeared when it ripped out the throat of Sir Hugo Baskerville in the mid-17th century. Since Hugo, the Baskervilles have been pursued - or so it seems - by the canine monster prowling the moors of Devonshire."
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Catey Sullivan

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...As in City Lit's 2014 Holmes and Watson, Holmes and Watson are effectively embodied by James Sparling (whose aquiline profile helps make him a ringer for the famous Sidney Paget drawings of Holmes in the tale's original magazine serialization) and Adam Bitterman, whose delivery is key to the production's alternately macabre and wryly humorous tone. The supporting cast is solid and the design work is atmospheric. So is the incidental music-composed by Ben Chang and played live by violinist Eugene Kaler, who also provides the eerie howl of the hellhound. Good dog!"
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Albert Williams

Stage and Cinema- Recommended

"...Itís a powerful fusion, Holmesís seemingly miraculous powers of deduction and detachment and Watsonís dogsbody reliability. Perhaps the seriesí most extravagant and seemingly supernatural case, 1902ís The Hound of the Baskervilles combines melodramatic elements, criminal psychology and a strangely romantic feel for the desolate, BrontŽ-like moors of Devonshire."
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Lawrence Bommer

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...The feeling of a staged reading is exacerbated slightly by the sets. There are few walls meant to be the estate and a few pieces of scenery meant to be the moors, but in the small theater at City Lit, you don't really get the impression of an expansive, haunting moor. Even the titular hound is rendered only through the actors' imagination. It's not a huge problem in that it detracts from the story, but I don't think it enhances it either. Something that is quite effective in laying the scene is a violin player, just off stage, underscoring the entire piece and providing live sound effects for the hound's howl. The music is beautiful and live music always helps establish a mood. Though as I type this, I fear I'm accidentally making a case for what an effective radio play this would have been rather than a staged one."
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Kevin Curran Recommended

"...Bitterman's performance allows the audience to understand why Doyle never wrote a mystery from Sherlock's perspective. To watch Sherlock as Watson does and anticipate his arrival, wait anxiously for his conclusions, intertwines with the excitement of the mystery. Dr. Watson has never been as alluring as his counterpart, but he also never lost his ability to remain the most relatable character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's world."
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Michael Chandler

The Hawk Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...If you can stomach a slower pace in the middle, this production will come recommended. City Lit book-ends its production of The Hound of the Baskervilles with stage chemistry that does justice to the creations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Itīs all the moments in between that may have you questioning the ticket price."
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Ryan Moore

Chicago On Stage- Somewhat Recommended

"...CityLit's 40-year commitment to staging literary plays and adaptations of works of literature has been a gift to Chicago's theatre community; no one else does anything like it. But in this case McCabe's company is, if anything, a bit too literary and formal in its adaptation. Real fans of Doyle's work may enjoy this well-acted version even if it seems more stagnant than the source material, but I'll stick with the BBC television series: it's just as cerebral but also far more visual, and theatre is first and foremost a visual medium."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...There is nothing elementary about solving the puzzle of why City Litís production of Doyleís classic THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES satisfies so deeply. But in this writerís view, no matter WHODUNIT the deed is done--- this is one heckuva fun production. For more than two hours we escape headlines and our daily cares. If you too have once devoted many hours to watching black and white grainy Sherlock Holmes films or more recently delighted in the seriesí updated revival on public television, you especially canít go wrong with this production. You too might agree that of all the Dr. Watsons we have known, Bittermanís is the best of the best."
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Amy Munice