World famous detective takes to the stage at Carrollwood Cultural Center

Tampa Beacon


CARROLLWOOD — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may not have fully grasped the impact he was making when he first conjured up “Sherlock Holmes” on paper in 1887. In three different centuries, the famous detective is still impressing audiences with his investigative powers.

The Atlantic Coast Theatre for Youth will present “Sherlock Holmes and the Opera Mystery” for children in kindergarten through eighth grade for two performances at the Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. Both shows will take place at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 17-18.

Tickets are available for $7, and interested school trips or home school groups can contact Katie Castonguay at [email protected] or (813) 922-8167 for details.

Don Gruel and Noel Holland are the husband-and-wife team behind A.C.T. For Youth. They often present several traveling shows each season, with an aim to educate and inspire a new generation of thespians. Gruel will star as the titular Sherlock Holmes and Holland will star as “Irene Adler.”

“I get to sing the ‘Habanera’ from ‘Carmen,’” Holland said. “So, not only do the kids get to hear that very famous song, but with opera, some of those kids have not heard it before, or it’s usually seen as something kind of funny because it’s in another language. As soon as I start singing, I start getting these huge eyes and see them being amazed. It’s neat.”

Gruel added, “Everything we do, we try to work with classical literature for kids that we can adapt into stage productions,” Gruel said. “When we started the company in 1999, it was always in my mind’s ideas book of doing a Sherlock Holmes show, but how do you do it with two people?”