Both the Western Herald and the Kalamazoo Gazette have given mostly positive reviews to the Civic Theatre’s presentation of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. However, the differences between the two articles are vast.
In the reviews, the authors give a nod towards the various behind-the-scenes activities of the production, including lighting, directing, casting, and props, but the article from the Herald acknowledged the depths of the production more so than the Gazette.
Interestingly enough, the vast majority of the Herald review was plot summary. Although the aim was probably to give the viewer an accurate representation of what they should expect from the play, it turned out to be rife with spoilers, essentially spelling out the entirety of the production. It was quite interesting, though, that even with this intensive summary, the article still managed to include the background information and critiques of the different aspects of the play.
On the other hand, the Gazette article managed to give an introduction to the play without spoiling it for the audience. Both argued for the casting of the various actors/actresses, in that they all were fantastic for their parts (the Gazette also acknowledged that Marin Heinritz was a theater reviewer for them, which was professional of them).
It was odd, however, that Mark Wedel of the Gazette remarked that he had an issue hearing the dialogue of the play. He did jokingly mention that he may need “one of those cheap hearing aids pitched on late night TV,” but he did advise viewers to sit close to the stage. It wasn’t an issue that I ran into in my experience of the play, but I did sit relatively close to the stage. The un-microphoned performance may indeed not be suited for a venue like the Civic Theatre.
Both articles argue their points well, providing adequate evidence for their claims. Stylistically, I preferred the Gazette article, as the transitions and flow of the piece made it very pleasant to read. The Herald’s article, however, seemed somewhat disjointed, and it was potentially to do with the large amount of plot summary.
Otherwise, I have no real complaints about either piece. The author of the Herald article began his last paragraph with “overall,” which is a pet peeve of mine, but I believe that both gave a somewhat accurate representation of what a viewer would expect from seeing the show, even if the Gazette did it a little more eloquently.