Press-Republican

Out & About

May 9, 2013

'Sherlock Holmes' a tribute to playwright

MONTREAL — Sherlock Holmes often brings suspense and thrills. This time, he also brings a bittersweet and poignant dedication.

The Segal Centre presents “Sherlock Holmes,” a new production of everyone’s favorite British sleuth. The play comes with star power — Hollywood actor Jay Baruchel is in the lead role — a cast of 10 and some clever directing with SideMart Theatrical Grocery’s Andrew Shaver at the helm.

It also comes with sad news, though, as playwright Greg Kramer was found dead in his Montreal apartment April 8 during the first week of rehearsal.

“About two years ago, the Segal Centre commissioned Greg to pen this new work,” Segal Centre artistic director Paul Flicker said. “He was also to play (Inspector) Lestrade.”

Kramer was not only a playwright, but also acted in a number of films including minor roles in “300,” “I’m Not There” and “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Kramer was reported to have previously battled cancer, had only one lung and was HIV positive. He was 51.

“It’s a huge loss to the production,” Flicker said. “The big loss for me is that Greg never got to hear his words spoken on stage.”

Flicker said that Kramer at least got to hear the actors read their lines at a table-reading workshop.

“The best way that we can honor his memory is to do the best we can for his final production,” Flicker said.

The play offers Hollywood actor Jay Baruchel in the lead.

“Getting Jay is a huge coup for the theater,” Flicker said. “We’re honored that’s he’s part of this production.”

Baruchel was raised and still lives in Montreal. He has appeared in “Almost Famous,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Cosmopolis.” He will also appear in the remake of “Robocop” set for release next year.

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