Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

A Parent’s Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol

It's elementary, really. I'm surprised I never thought of it myself. Two of the most iconic characters in literature, Ebenezer Scrooge and Sherlock Holmes, have quite a lot in common. Both are solitary to the point of misanthropy, and both have their obsessions. Scrooge is obsessed with money, and Holmes is obsessed with knowledge – or at least his singular ability to wield it. Local playwright John Longenbaugh places Holmes within the Christmas Carol story, and it works seamlessly.

It's nearly Christmas, and Dr. John Watson has dropped in unannounced at 221 B Baker Street. He moved out when he married, and Holmes was thought dead for three years after the epic confrontation with Moriarty. Holmes is less than gracious, and Mrs. Hudson confirms that he refuses to speak to her. After Holmes shoos away his last and only friend, he is visited by the ghost of Moriarty, and then the three familiar spirits, who show Holmes various aspects of his life.

Holmes aficionados will find numerous delights. He has opportunities to make amazing deductions and solves two cases without even visiting the crime scenes! One character, Uncle Tim, who has a limp and uses a cane, is an unexpected crossover. The play is a fresh take on A Christmas Carol for those who are looking for something new. It is wordy because Holmes does value his erudition, and there are a number of different accents in use; consequently, I agree with Taproot's assessment that the play is best for children 10 and over. It runs two hours, including a 15-minute intermission.

Terry Edward Moore has played both Holmes and Scrooge in other productions, so it's no wonder he has a handle on the role. Taproot's sound and design are top notch as usual, and parents should be aware that there is a gunshot and some lightning flashes that could be surprising to kids.

This show was meant to go up last year, but an arsonist destroyed the building. The company's joy in finally being able to bring the play to life is evident. Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to plan ahead.



Where: Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 84th St., Seattle (paid parking behind the theater, free parking in the south side of the Fred Meyer lot).

When: Through Dec. 30., Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday matinees at 2 p.m.

Cost: Adults $20-$29, depending on the day and time of the performance, student/senior discount, $3 off regular price tickets, 25 and under, $10.

Contact: 206-781-9707;

Machelle Allman is a Seattle educator and mom of a third-grader.

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Machelle Allman