Arizona Theatre Company: Holmes and Watson

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The 2017 season finale for the Arizona Theatre Company is the world premiere of Holmes and Watson, and it will also be the last show for artistic director David Ira Goldstein, who has been with the company for over two decades. Hear more about the play from Goldstein and Stephen D’Ambrose, who plays Moriarity in the production.

TED SIMONS: THE SEASON FINALE FOR THE ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY IS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF "HOLMES AND WATSON," A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY. THE PRODUCTION IS ALSO THE LAST SHOW FOR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DAVID IRA GOLDSTEIN, WHO'S BEEN WITH THE COMPANY FOR OVER TWO DECADES. JOINING US NOW IS MR. GOLDSTEIN AND "HOLMES AND WATSON" CAST MEMBERS. GREAT TO SEE YOU. I'M GOING TO BE CAREFUL HERE. I HAVE SEEN THIS. I WENT TO SEE THIS LAST WEEKEND. I DON'T WANT TO GIVE IT AWAY. IT'S WELL DONE. THIS IS A GREAT NIGHT. BUT DOES THE WORLD NEED ANOTHER SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY?

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: DIDN'T I JUST SEE AN AD FOR BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH ON YOUR CHANNEL?

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: SHERLOCK HOLMES IS ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC CHARACTER, IN THE '40S, THEN '70S AND NOW CUMBER BATCH. THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP THAT INTRIGUES.

TED SIMONS: WHY ARE THE STORIES SUCCESSFUL? DO WE PUT OURSELVES IN HIS PLACE? DO WE IDENTIFY WITH THE CRIMINAL? WHY ARE THEY SO SUCCESSFUL?

STEPHEN D'AMBROSE: THERE WAS A STUDENT MATINEE THE OTHER DAY. THERE WAS A YOUNG MAN WEARING A DEER STOCKER CAPE. YES, EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD MYSTERY. SITTING THERE WATCHING, TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT WHILE IT'S GOING ON.

TED SIMONS: OF COURSE.

STEPHEN D'AMBROSE: WHO IS THE REAL HOLMES? THERE IS SOMETHING WONDERFUL ABOUT THAT. NOW DAYS, TO BE TAKEN OUT OF WHAT'S GOING ON.

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: THERE IS A SENSE OF COMPLETION. 90 MINUTES BEFORE IT STARTED, YOU KNEW THE END. YOU DON'T KNOW THE END WITH MUELLER. YOU KNOW IT'S A MYSTERY. YOU GET TO THE LAST CHAPTER, THE LAST FIVE MINUTES, IT'S A SENSE OF COMPLETION.

TED SIMONS: THERE SEEMS TO BE MORE THAN ONE SHERLOCK HOLMES IN THE PRODUCTION. WHEN YOU ARE CASTING SHERLOCK HOLMES, DOES IT HAVE TO BE?

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: THEY ALL HAD TO BE OVER 6' AND LEAN. BEYOND THAT, I DON'T WANT TO GIVE IT AWAY. HOLMES IS SUPPOSEDLY DEAD AND WATSON IS DEBUNKING THE PEOPLE THAT CLAIM TO BE HIM AND HE GETS A MESSAGE SAYING THREE PEOPLE OFF THE COAST OF SCOTLAND CLAIM TO BE SHERLOCK HOLMES.

TED SIMONS: THIS IS A WORLD PREMIERE NOW. TALK ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF THE WORLD PRODUCTION?

STEPHEN D'AMBROSE: THE CHALLENGES ARE MAINLY FOR THE PLAYWRIGHT. JEFFREY HATCHER, THE PLAYWRIGHT WAS THERE WITH US IN REHEARSALS. A LOT OF REWRITING WE WANT ON.

TED SIMONS: YOU GOT EVERYTHING ALL FIGURED OUT AND THEN SUDDENLY YOU SAY WE ARE DOING IT THIS WAY NOW.

STEPHEN D'AMBROSE: IT DEPENDS UPON THE CHANGES. IF YOU HAVE A MONOLOGUE AND YOU LEARNED IT AND SUDDENLY HE WANTS TO TAKE SOMETHING OUT, YOU HAVE TO GET YOUR BRAIN AROUND IT AGAIN. OTHERWISE IT'S WONDERFUL TO HAVE THE PLAYWRIGHT IN THE REHEARSAL. JEFFREY IS FABULOUS ABOUT TAKING SUGGESTIONS FROM AN ACTOR OR DAVID, HOW THINGS WORK. HE HAD WRITTEN, NO FIGHTS IN THE PLAY. AT ONE POINT DAVID SAID, YOU WANT TO HAVE THE FIGHT.

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: AND WE DO.

TED SIMONS: FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: I LOVE IT. FAVORITE THING I HAVE DO THAT. ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY IN THE FIRST 25 YEARS HAD DONE ONE PREMIER. WE HAVE DONE AT LEAST ONE A YEAR SINCE I HAVE BEEN HERE. IT BRINGS YOU CLOSE AS YOU CAN BE TO THE ACT OF CREATING THEATER. WE ARE INTERPRETIVE DESIGNERS. ONLY THE PLAYWRIGHT IS THERE WITH THE EMPTY SHEET OF PAPER THAT SAYS, I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A PLAY. THAT'S EXCITING.

TED SIMONS: WHEN YOU FIRST READ THE PLAY, WERE YOU SURPRISED AT THE ENDING?

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND IT.

TED SIMONS: IT'S BEEN REDONE BECAUSE IT'S VERY CLEAR.

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: THAT WAS MY JOB AS DIRECTOR. IT WAS TOUGH TO KEEP TRACK OF ON THE PAGE. AGAIN, NOT GIVING AWAY ANYTHING, BUT NOT EVERYTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMS TO BE.

TED SIMONS: AS AN AUDIENCE MEMBER, YOU HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION.

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: JUST LIKE HORIZON.

TED SIMONS: SURE. 1992. WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WHAT HAPPENED?

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: I'M STAYING HERE AT CENTRAL AND CAMELBACK. I LOVE IT HERE. ARIZONA THEATER COMPANY IS A TWO CITY CORPORATION. I SPENT YEARS GETTING UP AND DOWN TWO OR THREE TIMES A WEEK AWAY FROM MY WIFE, MICHELLE. IT'S TIME FOR ME TO TRY AND DO SOME OTHER THINGS. IT'S AN 80-HOUR A WEEK JOB, AND I THINK 20 YEARS IS A GOOD TENURE FOR A CREATIVE DIRECTOR.

TED SIMONS: YOU GET TO JOIN THE REST OF US RUBES IN THE AUDIENCE. FROM THE ACTOR POINT OF VIEW, WE HAVE A MINUTE LEFT HERE. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

STEPHEN D'AMBROSE: I'M FROM NEW YORK BY WAY OF MINNESOTA WHICH IS WHERE I KNEW DAVID FROM 40 YEARS AGO. THAT'S ANOTHER STORY. I HAVE ONLY A MINUTE. I WOULD SAY IN THE COUNTRY, THE STATE OF THEATER IS IN GOOD HANDS. IT'S AMAZING HOW TIGHT AND SMALL THE COMMUNITY OF ACTORS IS IN THIS COUNTRY. YOU RUN INTO PEOPLE ALL THE TIME THAT YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IN TEN YEARS. YOU ARE SUDDENLY IN THE CAST WITH THEM.

DAVID GOLDSTEIN: CAN I SLIP THIS IN, IN TEN SECONDS? 41 YEARS AGO WE APPEARED IN A PLAY CALLED HOLMES AND MORIARTY. I PLAYED DOCTOR WATSON AND HE PLAYED SHERLOCK HOLMES.

TED SIMONS: CONGRATULATIONS ON THE SUCCESSFUL PERFORMANCE AND EVERYTHING. IT WAS A LOT OF FUN. YOU HAVE HAD A GREAT CAREER.

STEPHEN D'AMBROSE: THANK YOU, TED. YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

David Ira Goldstein: Artistic Director, Arizona Theatre Company arizonatheatre.org

Stephen D'Ambrose: Actor, Home and Watson Cast Member

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