Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose at the Raven Theatre

Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose at the Raven Theatre

It’s no mystery why “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose” is filling the house at Chicago’s Raven Theatre.

The show is a real gem.

The play, adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original short story, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” (an archaic term for a gemstone) is elementary, in that it carefully examines the rudimentary aspects of a goose, a hat and a precious gem.

The tale is peppered with Christmas intrigue, holiday music and feel good moments that can be enjoyed by all ages (Raven recommends ages 10 and up).

Christmasgoose2Although, not a musical, per se, there is a good sprinkling of song and dance numbers throughout the one hour show including an excellent rendition of “Gloucestershire Wassail” (pictured here) by the Ensemble.

The mystery, by co-adapters John Weagly and Michael Menendian, revolves around how a stunning blue carbuncle found its way down the gullet of a goose.

The intrigue begins when Dr Watson (Damian Conrad, a newbie at Raven with credentials from Griffin Theatre’s “Letters Home” and the NBC TV series “Crisis”) calls upon Holmes (Graham Emmons, who played the timid and bumbling Shawn Keogh in last season’s Jeff-award-winning “The Playboy of the Western World” at Raven) on Christmas Eve to wish him a Merry Christmas and finds his friend in a somber mood with his attention focused on a shabby looking hat.

The entire cast featuring Matt Bartholomew, Conor Clark, Lane Flores, Leah Frires, Rudy Galvan, Sarah Hayes, Sophia Menendian, and Symphony Sanders bring energy, spirit and great chemistry to the production.

The onstage cleverly designed sets by Geno Frano and costumes by Alaina Moore conjure up the 19th-century Victorian era on stage inmiddle of Chicago’s bustling Edgewater neighborhood.

 Graham Emmons, Damian Conrad and the Goose. Photo by Dean La Prairie

Graham Emmons, Damian Conrad and the Goose. Photo by Dean La Prairiethe

“Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose” was originally mounted  in 2011 in place of Raven Theatre’s annual mounting and re-mounting of “A Christmas Carol.” It was first staged as a simple radio play.  Through the years, the show has been tweaked and re-tweaked and extended. It is now is a fully-staged production that is being presented in 22 performances over four weeks.

If you are looking for a professionally performed, feel-good holiday show, I highly recommend “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose.”  Now through January 4, 2015.


Tickets are $20.00 or $15.00 for students, seniors, active military and Raven subscribers.  Tickets are on sale online or by calling 773-338-2177.

Parking and transportation:

Park free in the Raven lot adjacent to the theater or take public transportation. Nearest El station Granville Red Line, Buses: #21 (Clark), #36 (Broadway), #151 (Sheridan), #155 (Devon), #64 (Peterson). 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville)

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