Burdened with playing off of the somnambulant Peden is Larry Crocker as Holmes' trusty assistant, Dr. Watson. Crocker occasionally imbues a syllable or two with an English flair, but since he also has only a casual acquaintance with the words, remembering dialogue and accent is one task too many.

Not that playwright Charles Marowitz created any memorable lines for his 1984 play. Sherlock's Last Case, not based on anything by Arthur Conan Doyle, sets up a murder plot in a script so wordy and convoluted—basically, Watson goes nuts and turns against Holmes—it would take Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and Columbo to sort it out. Marowitz tried to incorporate some of the disguise tricks of Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth to throw off audience guesswork about who's who here and there, but ICT's actors, no matter which costume they're wearing, don't fool anyone. No, wait, when actress Diana Gonzalez, as the daughter of Holmes' nemesis, Moriarty, dons a man's suit and moustache to play her own brother in the second act, she looks exactly like Zach Braff.

One bit of business did earn a hearty laugh on opening night, but it was a blooper, not a well-rehearsed gag. Holmes' phone rang, and after his housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson (played by Debbie Hurley), answered it, it kept right on ringing.

Sonny Franks, Stacey Oristano and Paul Taylor take a musical pilgrimage to Tulsa in WaterTower Theatre's Violet.
Sonny Franks, Stacey Oristano and Paul Taylor take a musical pilgrimage to Tulsa in WaterTower Theatre's Violet.

Details

Violet continues through February 1at WaterTower Theatre,Addison. Call 972-450-6232. Sherlock's Last Case continues through January 31at ICT, Irving. Call 972-252-2787.

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