Seattle Repertory Theatre’s “Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem” – Beyond the Theatre

~posted by Rebecca K.

Not that he has ever strayed far from popular imagination, but mastermind detective Sherlock Holmes has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. The BBC’s whip-smart series “Sherlock” starring Benedict Cumberbatch has earned high critical acclaim and a devoted audience around the globe. Closer to home, the Sherlock Seattle Convention draws enthusiastic fans of all ages to engage in discussions, artwork, costumes, theatre, and games related to one of the most recognized and loved characters in fiction.
From April 22 to May 22, experience a brand-new Holmesian tale brought to life by the Seattle Repertory Theatre. In “Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem,” Victorian England sensibilities meet the boisterous, mythical American West. Written by local playwright R. Hamilton Wright and making its world premiere right here in Seattle, the play is set in 1887 during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration, where the eminent detective and the ever steadfast Dr. Watson take on a case that features famed sharpshooter Annie Oakley.

Enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of “Sherlock Holmes and The American Problem” with our Beyond the Theatre list of books and more. And don’t miss the final two screenings of our Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes film series, including the Russian version of Hound of the Baskervilles on Monday, April 25, and Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes, on May 2. Here are some titles to get you started:

The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes

Read or re-read your favorite Sherlock Holmes stories with the aid of context. These pithy illustrated volumes provide commentary and knowledge to help the reader more deeply understand the stories and their time. Sidebar notes illuminate contemporary slang and geographical references. Also included are maps and period illustrations and photographs.

The Sherlock Holmes Book

This massive, richly illustrated, and just plain fun book breaks down the stories and world of literature’s most famous detective. With flow charts of deductive reasoning, extensive character biographies, and more, this volume is the perfect companion for Sherlock fans of all levels.

How to Be A Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life

This book breaks down the intimate tasks and travails of daily life for the common man, woman, and child in later 19th-century England. Sharing findings from her own quirky experiments (e.g., brushing her teeth with soot), Goodman swiftly and cheerfully de-romanticizes period-drama notions of elegance and cleanliness and furnishes a provocative portrait of the often bleaker reality.

The Colonel and Little Missie: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America

Superstar Buffalo Bill Cody was the man behind the famous Wild West Show, a traveling troupe that employed more than 500 people and hundreds of animals and invented the image of American Old West we still have today. Petite sharpshooter Annie Oakley spent over 15 years performing in Bill’s show. In this dual biography, Western novelist Larry McMurtry describes these two legendary Americans’ lives, career trajectories, and unlikely friendship.

The Cowgirl Way: Hats Off to America’s Women of the West

History comes alive in this illustrated introduction and tribute to great women of the American West, from pioneer homesteaders to modern-day ranchers. Annie Oakley features in the chapter “Wild West Show Girls.” There you learn amusing tidbits of her fascinating, unconventional life, including her meeting with Queen Victoria, who told her, “You are a very clever little girl.”

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