When a critic sees a show, the next day they will write a review which will either laud or excoriate the performance. But there are days when even the most persnickety pundit just wants to have fun. People are very much like that too. After a tough day at work, or struggling with a home project, there comes a time to unwind and if you have been having moments like that lately, this is the show to see. Seeing The Hound of the Baskervilles, you will literally laugh your cares away during the course of its performance.
It is so funny, so over the top, the only metaphor that seems to fit is when you shake up a can of carbonated soda and pop the top. Sparkling, fizzy and way over the top, this show comes at you like a freight train of laughs that carries everyone in its path along for a high speed ride into brilliant dialogue, clever ad libs and some of the best physical comedy ever seen on a Berkshire stage. Best of all, it keeps a knowledgeable and agile mind active since the work is layered with literary, theatrical and everyday references. They come at you so fast and furious that all that laughing can literally take the breath away.
Opening night there were a lot of young people in the audience, and their clear enjoyment of every minute further prompted the three principal members of the cast, Jonathan Croy, Josh Aaron McCabe and Ryan Winkles into misbehaving, adding unscripted lines, bits of business and audience interaction in an effort to crack each other up. They succeeded, egged on by an audience they seemed to encourage bad behavior on stage. In short, it is simply a wonderful, whacky and witty evening of theatre. As it rushed along I thought it resembled the autobahn of comedy – there was simply no speed limit, no rules to enforce, just floor the accelerator and see how funny a show can be.