The Joys of Hatcher’s Mystery

We asked company member Eric Lee, who can currently be seen as Dr. Evans in Holmes and Watson, what performing the twisting mystery has been like.

Last fall, when we were looking at the season to come, I had one role I knew that I wanted for sure: Dr. Evans in Jeffrey Hatcher’s Holmes and Watson.

First of all, I love a good mystery. In elementary school, I must have read every Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew book in the school library. Then I found a treasure trove of old Ellery Queen mystery magazines at a neighbor’s garage sale! What a day that was!

Holmes & Watson production photo - 3 Holmeses
Eric Lee (far left) alongside the rest of the cast. Photo by Peterson Creative Photography and Design

Fast forward to last year. I’m reading Holmes and Watson, and the first thing that strikes me is that signature Hatcher cleverness and wit. I just love his way with language and how he tells a story. I was intrigued, engaged and drawn forward. I couldn’t wait to find out where he was taking me as I was reading—and not every play engages me in that way. When I first read the big reveals, I was just delighted!

Now that the show is on stage, you can hear the shock of the audience at every performance. I certainly didn’t see the twists coming. And why would we? Hatcher reveals the answers to all of his questions with his classic wit and charm. I take great joy in sharing those moments with each audience, and getting to see how they react to the twists and turns I got to take such pleasure in the first time.

Holmes & Watson production photo - dying Inspector
photo by Peterson Creative Photography & Design

I’ve heard it said that one reason we love mysteries is because we know there will be an answer. In a world in which there are rarely clean resolutions to our big problems, what a satisfying feeling it is! As always, I am so grateful to share these moments with you, our Commonweal family. Come and experience all the twists and turns for yourself!

Be sure to catch Eric’s work, and the rest of this stellar cast, before Holmes and Watson closes for good on July 6th.
For Tickets —> Performance Calendar

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A Commonweal Debut

Twin Cities director Peter Moore is making his directorial debut at the Commonweal with Holmes and Watson. So Peter, what has your first experience with us been like?

I can summarize my experience in Lanesboro in one word: who knew? (Yes, I know that’s two words, so sue me. Remember, there are only three kinds of people in the world: Those who get math and those who don’t). Who knew there was this talented, committed theatre company in such a small town? Who knew that the theatre building was so lovely, intimate and well-equipped? Who knew that the town boasted such great places to eat (including The Pastry Shoppe, which may well be one of the very best restaurants in the state)? Who knew that the tiny little corner grocery store carried such a wide variety of healthy foods and sold their very own delicious chocolate chip cookies at the counter to boot? Who knew, in other words, what a charming delightful place this is to come live and work?

Peter Moore, director of Holmes and Watson
Peter Moore directs our 31st Season opener, Holmes and Watson by Jeffrey Hatcher.

Well, probably all of you knew, but I sure didn’t. My pervious experience with Lanesboro was limited to a visit 25 years ago to go biking, and while that was certainly enjoyable, it wasn’t particularly memorable; in fact, my most vivid recollection is seeing a baby rattlesnake slither quietly off the bike path as I approached. The theater was there, but I didn’t see a show, and I remember almost nothing about the food, although I do seem to recall thinking the breakfast at Mrs. B’s was pretty good.

Directing Holmes and Watson at the Commonweal has been an unmitigated pleasure. From the actors, to the designers, to the crew, to the staff, everyone has been wonderful to work with. Maybe that’s because the actors, the designers, the crew and the staff are all pretty much the same people—nobody does just one thing here—but whatever the reason, it creates a terrifically creative and supportive artistic environment. The company is made up of a talented and very dedicated group of theatre professionals, all of whom are smart, kind and a delight to work with. The locals I’ve encountered have been unfailingly pleasant, and even the weather, dark and cold as it is in any part of Minnesota during winter, has provided a certain calm and quiet. Coming out of rehearsal at 10pm on a February night to find the streets utterly deserted and peaceful is a unique and not at all unpleasant sensation.

In short, I would happily return to Lanesboro, and the Commonweal, anytime. Except on Mondays and Tuesdays—the Pastry Shoppe is closed.

Peter, it has been a pleasure to have you here! Be sure to see his work as director for Holmes and Watson, which opens this weekend, join us! For Tickets —-> Performance Calendar

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