By Herb Moering
A Sherlock Holmes mystery was this season’s radio show produced in the Victoria Palms ballroom on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22 by the Palm Players, a cast of all park residents.
“The Misadventure of the Psychic Detective” was a two-act play that was set in England at Greystone Manor, a house filled with dark secrets, drawing a group of psychics, hypochondriacs and other oddball characters - in which it seems an insane killer is at work.
Suspicion falls on Sherlock’s friend Dr. Watson of all people, played by veteran actress Karen Hayden, a year-round resident for the past eight years at the Donna resort. Originally from Wisconsin, she worked in Atlanta and later in Richmond, Texas, doing commercials and videos.
The story line calls for help from non-other than Sherlock himself, who is on the scene all the time, but in the disguise of Gabriel Deacon, played by John Schnee. He is able to use “elementary” to uncover a plot by German agents, led by Constance Foley, played by France Lacasse, to steal valuable, rare books to sell on the black market.
The other plotters include Sherringford Scott, played by Ken Hansen, who was in his first Palm Players role as a psychic detective with unusual powers. The Winter Texan had been in plays in the past while living in Iowa, including playing the lion in the “Wizard of Oz.”
The rest of the cast, most having performed in last year’s comedy show, were Cindy Schnee as Lady Greystone, Mona Ervin as Teddy Strand, Lisa Thurman as Innis McGinnis and Mickie Prendergast as Brigadier Bartholomew Broompelsham, who also was the radio presenter. She was in the comedy production last year and “liked the fun of it.”
Jan Easton was the director for the show and had much to do, taking on the role of narrator and that of the butler character Carstairs. She literally had to don one hat for the character role and go without it for narration.
David Doty was in charge of mic sound with sound effects handled by Karen Norwood, Nita and James Lear, Jim Ervin, Betty Nelson and Wendy Bartholomew.
In between the two acts, there was a commercial break as is common in radio. This one for the anti-gas Beano pill involved Lacasse, John and Cindy Schnee and Thurman.
About 140 residents from the resort attended the production, including Canadians Gail Gulka and Donna Daigle, both from Ontario. They like attending plays and usually go to two or three during their stay at Victoria Palms. Often, they take in high school productions that they find very good.
Easton said the type of production for next year is still being discussed at this point.