On This Day 10th February

OTD 1993 The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes:The Eligible Bachelor season 3 episode 9 1st aired.

Plot summary (spoiler)

While horrible nightmares torment Sherlock Holmes, the wealthy American Hetty Doran and Lord Robert Saint-Simon, a heavily indebted aristocrat are going to marry. Leaving the church, Hetty notices a man whose sight upsets her. Then comes Flora Miller, the abandoned mistress of Lord Robert, who reveals to the young woman the secret crimes of the aristocrat. Hetty disappears suddenly and the frustrated groom asks Holmes to find her. When asked by a veiled lady to question Lord Robert about his previous wives, Holmes gets no answers, but his mysterious visitor, Agnes Northcote, tells him that he murdered his first wife to inherit and locked up the second, his sister Helena. Coming to try to see her, Agnes was disfigured by Floutier, Robert’s accomplice. Holmes will find the man of the church, Francis Moulton, whom Hetty had secretly married but believed dead. Determined to thwart Sir Robert, she goes to Glavon Manor. He tries to reconquer her, but learning that their marriage is invalid, he delivers her to Floutier. Holmes and Watson will save her in extremis. Robert attempts to eliminate Helena, detained in accordance with Holmes’ nightmare in the ruined chapel. But the blocks of the entrance, of which she has deliberately compromised the balance, collapse on her jailer.

Credits

Baker Street: A Musical Adventure of Sherlock Holmes previewed OTD 1965 at the Broadway Theatre, New York. https://t.co/3wqiahrotB

Background

Loosely based on the 1891 Sherlock Holmes story “A Scandal in Bohemia” by Arthur Conan Doyle with elements of “The Final Problem” and “The Empty House” as well,  it is set in and around London in 1897, the year in which England celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Queen Victoria (an event marked by an elaborate royal procession depicted by Bil Baird‘s marionettes). The musical veers from Conan Doyle’s work in that Irene Adler becomes an associate of Holmes rather than his opponent, thus allowing an element of romance between the two.

Because of problems the show went through during out of town tryouts, Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, the successful composing team of Fiddler on the Roof were brought in to contribute additional songs including “Cold Clear World” and “I Shall Miss You.” They also wrote “I’m In London Again” which was the first number for Irene Adler, but after opening night, this number (which can be heard on the cast album) was dropped and replaced by another Bock-Harnick composition, “Buffalo Belle” which had Irene Adler performing an elaborate Wild West number. Stereo Review Magazine’s review described the score as being “Warmed-over Gilbert & Sullivan with a gelid sauce of Lerner & Loewe.”

Productions

The musical opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre on February 16, 1965 running to October 30, and then transferred to the Martin Beck Theatre (now the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) on November 3, 1965, where it closed on November 14, 1965 after a total of 311 performances and six previews. Directed by Hal Prince, the cast included Fritz WeaverPeter SallisMartin GabelInga SwensonVirginia VestoffTeddy Green, and, in supporting roles, Christopher Walken and Tommy Tune in his Broadway debut.

Producer Alexander H. Cohen felt the show was such an event that he announced, prior to the opening, men would not be admitted unless they were clad in jackets and ties, and women would be allowed in only if they wore dresses. This policy quickly changed once the mixed reviews were in and Cohen realized he needed all the business he could get, no matter how it was attired.

Cast

The following list includes the roles in the musical and the cast members in the 1965 production. The production also included additional ensemble cast members and understudies.

Musical numbers

Act I

  • “It’s So Simple” – Holmes, Watson, Lestrade, Captain Gregg
  • “I’m in London Again” – Irene
  • “Leave it to Us, Guv” – Wiggins, The Irregulars
  • “Letters” – Irene
  • “Cold, Clear World” – Holmes
  • “Finding Words for Spring” – Irene
  • “What a Night This is Going to Be” – Holmes, Watson, Irene, Daisy
  • “London Underworld” – Company
  • “I Shall Miss You” – Moriarty

Act II

  • “Roof Space” – Wiggins, The Irregulars
  • “A Married Man” – Watson
  • “I’d Do it Again” – Irene
  • “Pursuit” – Holmes
  • “Jewelry” – Baxter, Criminals

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