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Holmes, Sweet Holmes

No shit, Sherlock: Old-school detective still rocks.

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Viewers expecting to see a classic interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth are in for a little surprise at the Cleveland Play House’s Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, which opens tonight. “There’s definitely more of a contemporary edge to the character,” says artistic director Michael Bloom. “We want the audience to see an image of Sherlock that is not Basil Rathbone,” the actor who portrayed the detective in a series of films in the ’30s and ’40s.

Still, there are some familiar sights. The play centers on Holmes and sidekick Dr. Watson’s ongoing battle of wits with nemesis Moriarty. The mystery involves a kidnapping and a scandalous photograph that’s tied to it. “You’ll see a great mind at work,” says Bloom. Plus, there’s a rare love story woven throughout. “Romance is an element you don’t see in Holmes,” says Bloom. “You tend to think of him as this very analytical, cold person.” Bloom says purists won’t be disappointed by the production’s devotion to Holmes arcana. “It takes the period and the character very seriously,” he says. “This is no spoof or satire.” And although the story is set almost a hundred years ago, modern theatergoers can still relate to it. “Audiences like puzzles and mysteries,” says Bloom. “You can trace the ongoing interest with crime [in shows like CSI] to this play.”
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 17. Continues through Nov. 4, 2007

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