Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Reds Take the Stage

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: The Jungle Reds matched their wits against Sherlock Holmes...and lost, since I don't think any of us anticipated the twists and turns of Sherlock's Last Case at Boston's Huntington Theatre.

Sherlock (Rufus Collins), Dr. Watson (Mark Zeisler) & Lestrade (Malcolm Ingram) 



 We were thrilled to take the stage. although we didn't get to sit in the gorgeous Victorian furniture.


Liza Moriarty (Antoinette Robinson), Sherlock (Rufus Collins) The costumes were so authentically late 19th century, they could have come out of a museum.



Our outfits were genuine 21st century Red. Note the pashminas!

The stage was amazingly detailed. The desk at center back stage was covered by actual, handwritten letters and postcards.
 
 It was very hard not to touch anything! But we were good.
 
 Mrs. Hudson (Jane Ridley) & Dr. Watson (Mark Zeisler)
 
 We talked about Golden Age detective stories versus modern crime fiction, characterization, exposition and reader expectations.
 The world's longest-running bromance, Holmes and Watson.


 We fielded loads of questions from the audience as we all tried to decide if we had seen a classic puzzle mystery, or a more modern psychological character study.

Meanwhile, in San Diego:
 Rhys & Charlaine Harris were cutting it up at Mysterious Galaxy!


 You have another chance to see Sherlock's Last Case and chat with mystery writers! On October 21, after the 2pm matinee, the Wicked Cozy Authors - Liz Mugavero, Jessie Crockett, Sherry Harris, Julie Henrikus, Edith Maxwell and Barb Ross - will be leading another discussion and will be available to sign books afterwards! I can't think of a better place to be on a chilly New England October day.

28 comments:

  1. This set is amazing!
    It certainly looks like the Red ladies had a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing it with us . . . .

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  2. How fun! I can't wait to see the costumes and set - my fingers are already itching. And thanks for the shoutout. ;^)

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  3. looks like you had a ball! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. The Reds always have fun together, and make fun for everyone else, too. Love these photos!

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  5. Sorry I missed it! You four look terrific up there commanding the stage!

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  6. The set was amazing and I love schmoozing with the reds--under any conditions! But we did miss you Ingrid, and Jenn too!

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  7. what fun! I love all the period details on the set.

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  8. What fun this is to see, even virtually. Thank you, Julia, for posting all the pictures.

    There's an ease amongst the Reds that I rarely see anywhere else. It's almost as if you were biological sisters, separated by distance but always together in your hearts. How did this come about? I wasn't around at the beginning, so I have no idea how you started, how you picked a name (nail polish color) or what your infrastructure is like. Is there an internal order that we don't see or do you just divide 52 by 8 for your weeks in the barrel?

    History of the Jungle Reds is hereby requested. Inquiring minds want to know.

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    1. You're going to get SEVERAL different versions. All I can say is, it wasn't MY idea. ;-)
      And we argued a lot about the name.

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  9. I'm with Ann! Consider this "yet another" request for the backstory of the Jungle Reds!
    Ple-e-e-e-ase.

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  10. Wow! With production values that high, the play must have been amazing! Thanks for sharing! What a fun event that must have been for you all and the audience (and cast)!

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  11. The play was such fun— and being on the stage it’s self was actually a little daunting! But it was gorgeous and lush, complicated and perfect . Wonderful experience! And Julia stayed overnight at our house, and we, sadly, stayed up talking until 2 AM! Ridiculous! As for the history of the reds, we will provide it! But I think the funniest and most fun way to do it. It begins: once upon a time there was Hank, Rosemary, and Jan. How about that?? And in what seemed like seconds later, Hallie.

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  12. I meant: but let us think of the most ....
    And we could find photos, too, I bet! And try to find the very first post we did. I think it was called “on beginnings” .. and it was, gosh maybe 12 years ago? 11? Whoa.

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  13. Beautiful set and costumes. Beautiful guest panel of experts afterwards, and what fun idea to bring real mystery writers in to talk about the mystery!

    Yes! I want to hear how the Reds got started too. I know you were already an up-and-running thing when Deb joined. I also know that the cast has changed somewhat from the beginning. How to you elect new Reds? The topic certainly merits a whole post with pictures. Can't wait!

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  14. How amazing! Wish I could have been there!

    Mary/Liz

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  15. This was SO MUCH FUN! Great audience questions. See the play! You really won't see the twists coming and it's hilARious.

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  16. This looks fabulous! I so wish I could have been there.

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  17. Fantastic, Reds! I’m sure I would have had my hand slapped for touching the things - so fabulous!

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  18. I would have loved to have seen that play with that outstanding stage set. Who couldn't help but be transported back to the nineteenth century and 221B Baker Street? And, to see you four Reds on stage answering questions and talking would have been the bonus to beat all bonuses. Your fun when you all are together is infectious, and your genuine affection for one another is a beautiful thing.

    Count me in as one who would love to know more about the beginnings of the Jungle Reds.

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  19. Several Reds (not saying who) wanted to touch everything, and then had the *brilliant* idea of sliding our books onto one of the set's bookshelves. The young man watching over us was not in favor of either...

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  20. That you so much for sharing the photos! What a fun day! I missed being there with you all!

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  21. That sounds like fun. If I lived in the area, I would have to see it twice, once for each panel.

    I did go to a play last night - Jekyll and Hyde the Musical. And I'm thinking I will be out to see another play next weekend - closing night of And Then There Were None here in town. And the theater I love to go to so much just opened a Holmes themed (but not actually featuring Holmes) play I need to see in the next month.

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  22. Shalom Reds. That sounds like a delightful evening. I don’t get to the theater much anymore. When I was young and living in New York on my own, I would very often hit the TKTS stand in the middle of Times Square. Particularly on a Wednesday afternoon (I worked nights) you could find half-price tickets to almost anything on Broadway. I would bring a date or just go by myself if I really wanted to see something. Often, my date was my mother, who in the last ten years of her life would take the bus from Bucks County and splurge for breakfast and then we would take in a show. Now, I live in Bucks County and there are some very good regional theaters which put on fine plays. I don’t go, partly because it’s still pricey and there is no good public transportation in the suburbs.
    A Victorian set, well, well. They must have paid a pretty penny or promised free advertising in the Playbill to some museum or collector. When I first moved to the Philadelphia area, I lived for a year in the servants quarters of the mansion built by James Logan (personal secretary to William Penn) in the early 17th century. It is a museum now and is on a plot of park land own by the City of Philadelphia. It has very few artifacts of the original home but it is furnished with period pieces dating back to 1620 or there abouts. I and two other friends of mine got to live in the servants quarters for about $300 which we split three ways. In return, we conducted guided tours once or twice a week and by appointment. The museum was managed by an organization called the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We called them The Dames for short.

    The museum is located in the heart of North Philadelphia. The museum was on a piece of property which is gated and fenced in. On the other side of the park, there was a basketball court and teenagers and older kids would play basketball incessantly. One of my buddies, who was from Cote D’Ivoire would mumble in French at two in the morning, saying roughly, “They do not sleep. They never sleep. One afternoon, two of Philadelphia’s Finest, stopped in to ask if they could use the attic of the museum to surveil the basketball courts. They were watching for the illegal sale of drugs and such. I said “Sure.” I had been raised to see the law as “on your side.” And just in case they weren’t, it was better to say “Yes, sir,” to anything they might ask for. I happen to mention it one day to The Dames. They were mortified. They could see, in their mind's eye, angry drug pushers finding out and firebombing the museum and all its precious treasure. It didn’t occur again.

    One Christmas, my aunt Una gave me a copy of the Collected Works of Arthur Colan Doyle. I binge read the entire collection of the book much like children today have read the Harry Potter series. When today, I think of Sherlock Holmes, however, I can only see Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

    There is a marvelous film, called They Might Be Giants, with George C. Scott who plays a contemporary character who is mentally ill and believes himself to be Sherlock Homes in the flesh. His psychiatrist happens to be a woman (played by Joanne Woodward, I believe) whose name is Dr. Watson. As I remember it, there is a lot of dialogue in the movie and I think it would make a great play.

    Add my vote, for looking forward to a blog entry about the history of Jungle Red Writers. I can’t remember how I found it, except that it must have been a google search for Deborah Crombie.

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  23. Yesterday sounds likes great fun, thanks for sharing with all the pics, and YES PLEASE do tell us the story of the Reds and your blog. I'd love to know!

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  24. Really the origin of the Reds, I suggest they sprang fully formed from the head of Zeus. Just sayin’.

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    1. Ann, we washed ashore while standing in a clamshell.

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