Girton returns: Retired Riverland director back for another adventure

Published 8:19 am Friday, February 15, 2013

Jason Howland, left as Dr. Watson, listens to David Behling, as Sherlock Holmes. The mystery “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure” opens Thursday at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center, Albert Lea. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

A tale of murder and mystery will be sure to test the detective skills of the audience members during the latest production by Albert Lea Community Theatre.

Opening Thursday is “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.” The show is directed by Jerry Girton, who retired in 2011 from a long run as theater director at Riverland Community College. After auditions in early January, the cast and crew got right to work on Jan. 5.

“They’ve worked really hard,” Girton said.

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The show is the second of ACT’s 2012-13 season. It was adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Scandal in Bohemia” from 1899. The play won the 2007 Edgar Award for best mystery play. It follows the great detective Sherlock Holmes, who while seemingly close to the end of his career, is presented with a case he can’t refuse.

“It’s really good,” Girton said. “We’ve got a lot of good actors.”

The relatively small cast of nine includes David Behling as Sherlock Holmes and Jason Howland as Dr. Watson. Girton said the two actors are on stage for much of the show, which lasts about an hour and 45 minutes.

Girton said audiences will love the mystery of the show, which follows the iconic figure of Sherlock Holmes. The director also said it’s a family show or it would make a great date, which is fitting since it opens on Valentine’s Day.

The show is the first Girton’s directed at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. Girton said though he thought it was time to retire from teaching at Riverland — and producing four shows a year — that he didn’t want to leave theater completely.

“It’s exciting to go different place,” Girton said.

The show opens Thursday and continues Friday and Saturday, as well as Feb. 20, 21, 22 and 23. All showings are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults or $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-877-730-3144 or at or at the box office.

‘Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure’

Who: Albert Lea Community Theatre
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The show continues next week with performances at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, 21, 22 and 23.
Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center at 147 N. Broadway, Albert Lea
Tickets:  $15 for adults and $10 for students.