The Navasota Dinner Theater - October 16, 2011
by Jeanne Brandt

Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Jersey Lily.

On Sunday, October 16, 36 TIRET members and guests (5 drove themselves) again headed to Navasota [first time in 2009] for an afternoon of delicious lunch and live theater (Navasota Theater Alliance, NTA). It was a great day weather wise for the hour 15 minute trip -- we arrived a little early.

First on the agenda is a delightful lunch.

The buffet-style lunch was held in the old Sunny Furman theater lobby, filled with eating (preset) and serving tables. The hosts were courteous and gracious, offering a choice of white or red wine (for a small donation) along with iced tea choices, too. We lined up for smothered, sliced Angus steak, medium done - just right, a large baked potato and a crisp, tossed garden salad with dressing choice and other condiments. A peach cobbler was available for dessert. Although full, we had plenty of time for seconds, if desired, and chat/restroom time before the theater seating.

The theater proper provides two, split, stepped seating sections (possibly 100 seats combined) with the ground floor 'stage' between them. Our TIRET group basically filled all of one seating section, and, looking around, this last performance was mostly sold out. All seats offered unrestricted viewing. The actors projected plenty loud for all to hear. The stage hands (included many actors as well) were truly remarkable, almost like a choreographed act by itself. I think after the first scene change they even received a small applause.

Everyone enjoyed lunch.

The two-act play (by Katie Forgette) was entitled, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily. The cast of well known, Doyle characters included Sherlock Holmes (Steve Haley, a local attorney from Brenham), Dr. Watson (Steve Watkins), Professor Mortiarty (Dan Paul), included world famous actress Lilly Langtree, aka the Jersey Lily (Earlene Rainey), Oscar Wilde (Jay Thompson) and other supporting roles. The plot involved beautiful actress Lilly Langtry seeking help from the brilliant detective, Holmes, in a small matter involving blackmail, some missing jewels and the Royal Family. Our hero, Holmes, gets some help from his sidekick, Watson, and the famous Oscar Wilde as the evil Professor Moriarty tries to foil the day with inside help. The cast were all experienced thespians who truly enjoy what they do even though it is a good deal of work. Earlene Rainey directed, having appeared in 11 previous NTA stage productions.

As typical, cameras and video were prohibited as too disruptive during the play, so accompanying pictures (courtesy of Vivian Watkins) were taken before and after the performance, generally. The costumed actors formed a receiving line in the lobby after the play, expressing gratitude. A delightful time was had by all.

Join us next time for an enjoyable, relaxing day trip.


The following rode the bus:
Patsy Seay, Ruth Hiatt, Bob and Marian Gruber, Daryl and Brenda Moss, Diane Murray, DeAnn Thomas , Joyce Slanina, Nancy Aidi, Carol Robins, Tony and Dee Amante, Daren and Jewel Welch, Jeanne Brandt, Dorothy and James Wade, Helen Schmolke (guest), Israel and Nora Morales, Dora Mirelis (guest), Tony and Susan Leigh, Howard and Mary Cameron, Sandra and Roger Coughran, Merlene Chandler (guest) and Gigi Roep.

The following drove themselves:
Bill and Mary Young, Vivian Watkins, Gary and Luanne Luckett.