Dear Watson

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in drawing, Illustration, Portland Stage Company | 0 comments

Whether you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan or not, the Portland Stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles is one relentless spoof. When I read the script last year, adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson, it didn’t read that funny. But I attempted some hyperbole with my preliminary sketches for the poster. How about a towering fang-bearing menace looming over the Baskerville estate?

1hound-rough

Or the classic vintage pipe with a smoking title?

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A hound’s shadow on Holmes’ silly hat?

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Or the flashlight trope?

4hound-rough

A stalking hound of epic proportions?

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I can keep going…the possibilities are endless. How about the Hound AND the detectives?

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By the time I got to this one, I’d had enough. Another fang-bearing hound with miniature detective shadows…

7hound-rough

Fortunately for me, Portland Stage always picks the right one. Here is the final illustration.

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It’s nearly a year since  I completed the artwork, so can I be blamed if I forgot most of the script? When I learned Dustin Tucker would play Holmes, I grew ridiculously eager to see the play.

I carefully chose Sherlock fans to join me, including Doug Smith, a Peaks neighbor and illustrator  who first introduced me to Portland Stage, giving us tickets to Peer Gynt, which also featured the infamous Dustin Tucker as well.

The Hound is directed by Dan Burson, who I met years ago when I brought my Maine College of Art illustration students to sketch a tech rehearsal of Santaland Diaries, another Tucker tour de force. You see, everything is connected, my dear Watson.

I snuck this photo of the set before the show. The brick is meticulously crafted, and the stage pieces fly in and out while the three actors dash and prance through multiple characters.

After intermission, the actors return to announce the second act. Tucker was incensed that someone had tweeted an insult to his performance: jamiethehulkhogan88! Egads, I shrank in my seat, even though I’ve never been on Twitter. Hilarious surprise, Tucker!

Here is Doug after the show, ready to dig in to a pot pie at Katadhin,

Everyone was in need of enormous martinis for some reason.

Dick Reed and Gunnel Larsdotter invited us back to their place for dessert, the cherry on top of a wonderful evening of theater.

Thanks to Portland Stage and their fine cast and crew, and my fellow lovers of Sherlock. Go see this one, the frenzy of camp will be your delight.

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