Eric Parness directs the one-man play about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famed Victorian London detective. Resonance Ensemble presents the staging through Feb. 2, at Theatre Row's Kirk Theatre, 410 West 42nd St.
The play is subtitled An Original Presentation by the Master Detective.
According to Resonance, "Sherlock Solo brings the great detective — Sherlock Holmes, played by Victor L. Cahn — out of retirement to tell the story of a previously undisclosed case that unfolded during the absence of his customary narrator, Dr. Watson, involving a mysterious woman who proves to be an unsettling presence in Holmes' life."
Parness is Resonance Ensemble's artistic director. The design team includes Sarah B. Brown (set design), Pamela Kupper (lighting design), Sidney Shannon (costume design) and Nick Moore (sound design).
Victor L. Cahn has written several works produced Off-Broadway, including Fit to Kill, Roses in December and Embraceable Me. Cahn has appeared onstage with Home Made Theater, Curtain Call Theatre, Albany Civic Theater, Schenectady Civic Players, Cohoes Music Hall, Hubbard Hall and Theater Voices. He is professor of English at Skidmore College and author of books on Shakespeare, Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter. Cahn told Playbill.com that he read the Sherlock Holmes tales as a boy. "I was introduced to them by my brother," he said.
What does he Cahn think accounts for the ongoing public interest in the character?
Methodically, not unlike Holmes, Cahn answers in the following way: "No. 1, the Victorian era is very much like our own, yet without all the scientific sophistication and gadgetry. But the themes are similar. No. 1, the character of Holmes himself. A. He has an unerring sense of right and wrong. He may violate this, but he has it. B. Everything is explained rationally. He is almost godlike in that way. C. The wonderful friendship with Watson. All four of these elements (era, morality, rationality, and friendship) are portrayed in the stories with astonishing vividness, so much so that many thousands of people believe Sherlock Holmes actually existed."
Does Cahn draw on Holmes mythology from specific stories?
"There are references to stories such as 'The Adventure of the Copper Beeches' and 'The Red-Headed League,' but this presentation is essentially original," the writer said.
Holmes was a noted user of cocaine. Cahn said his play acknowledges the detective's drug addiction, but it's not emphasized or crucial to the story.
Performances play Thursdays at 8 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM & 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM (with an added performance on Monday, Jan. 14 at 7 PM). Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or on-line at www.ticketcentral.com.
For additional details, please visit www.resonanceensemble.org.
Under the artistic direction of Parness and managing direction of Rachel Reiner, Resonance Ensemble "is dedicated to developing new theatrical work inspired by the timelessness and universalism of the classics, and to producing resonating groups of theatrical presentations that echo across countless cultures and eras to confront themes and ideas significant to audiences of today."