The Game Is Afoot! – YAG’s ‘Sherlock’ adds musical pop to mystery

The Game Is Afoot! – YAG’s ‘Sherlock’ adds musical pop to mystery

Asked to sum up “Sherlock The Musical,” director Missy Gipson turns to the words of one Young Actors Guild parent: “It sounds like ‘Hamilton’s’ little brother.”

The Young Actors Guild, teaching kids theater in the River Valley for more than 60 years, is producing “Sherlock,” a new musical with music and lyrics by Denning Burton and book by Burton and Stefan Van de Graaff, Feb. 2-4 at the Van Buren Fine Arts Center.

Denning, according to the musical’s website, is a Canadian songwriter, composer and producer who has worked with Grammy-winning songwriters and platinum-selling artists. Van de Graaff owns and runs Chamber Media, a viral video production agency with more than 300 million views of their content. In his spare time, the website says, he has written and directed a feature film and now co-authored “Sherlock the Musical.”

“I was looking at new musicals that have been written in the last few years, and I knew I was interested in producing a mystery,” says Gipson, who is director of the show and executive director of YAG. “I thought of how fun the Sherlock Holmes stories are, and I luckily found this show.”

In this iteration, a high-ranking government official disappears, and “Sherlock will race against time to solve the mystery and uncover a more sinister plot than the sleuth and his companion ever could have imagined,” according to its creators.

Like the books, “it does hover in the Victorian era,” Gipson says, “but it dips its toe into the contemporary through the music and choreography. The music is so catchy and fun! It’s a fusion of pop and hip hop.”

This time, Gipson has drawn on a slightly older cast than some YAG shows, with 30 actors ages 12-19.

“Jack Newcity as Sherlock Holmes is a relative newcomer to YAG,” she says. “He is a freshman at UAFS. He brings such a delightful surge of arrogance but heart to Sherlock.”

“Playing Sherlock is such a unique challenge, and I can’t wait for people to see my interpretation,” Newcity says. “I’m also excited about seeing it all come together with the set and costumes.”

“Evan Law is our John Watson,” Gipson adds. “He is a senior at Northside High School in Fort Smith. He has grown up in theater and music in Fort Smith and has been involved with YAG for a long time. He’s hilarious as John. All the humble but witty energy you would hope to see!”

“What’s exciting me about this show is how surprisingly deep the plot is and how fun music about Sherlock Holmes is,” Law says.

“You will enjoy watching them bring this story to life on stage along with our incredible company of actors,” Gipson promises. “There is a film version of the show on YouTube that’s a lot of fun to watch. Watch it and then come see our take on it!”



‘Sherlock The Musical’

WHEN — 7 p.m. Feb. 2; 2 & 7 p.m. Feb. 3; 2 p.m. Feb. 4

WHERE — Van Buren Fine Arts Center, 2001 Pointer Trail in Van Buren

COST — $15-$20


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