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INTERVIEW: Iconic East End Radio Personality, Actor, And Play Producer, Bonnie Grice On "Sherlock's Secret Life"

T.J. Clemente

The Sherlock's Secret Life cast. (Photo: Dane DuPuis)

(NOTE: Following the advice of the Village of Southampton, beginning immediately, the Southampton Cultural Center will be closed until March 29th. Sherlock's Secret Life is cancelled through March, but boots on the ground theater may have an update soon about a reprise).

Bonnie Grice is excited about her next show, Ed Lange's Sherlock's Secret Life, being produced by her boots on the ground theater. The show opens Friday, March 6 at the Southampton Cultural Center (SCC) and runs through Sunday, March 22.

The dynamic East End radio personality, actor, and play producer spoke with Hamptons.com in depth about the process of producing this play. "My Sherlock theater sojourn began 2 years ago," she explained. "I started my theater company in 2016 to recreate and retell stories from history, with a particular emphasis on the 19th century - a personal passion."

It was indeed a long process, however as Grice noted, "I narrowed it down to five potential scripts and our director Josephine Wallace and I chose this one. I invited Josephine to work with me again as director since we'd had such a good experience together on Red Badge of Courage in 2018. We both agreed that Sherlock's Secret Life had the perfect combination of mystery, crime, love, murder and comedy... plus it's never been done before on Long Island."

The play will run through March 22. (Courtesy Photo)

Now that opening night is almost here, Grice was ecstatic and proud when she spoke about the work that the actors have put in to make Sherlock's Secret Life a top-notch show. She said, "This cast is awesome. Me aside, Dan Becker captures an older Watson perfectly. Tom Rosante embodies Sherlock... handsome endearing and funny. John Lovett IS the evil Moriarty. Rich Gardini really brings the inspector to life. Alyssa Kelly is our sublime 'mystery beauty.' Bethany brings a loving grace to Mollie. I'm thrilled to play this version of Mrs. Hudson celebrating a woman's role as sleuth! And Josephine's vision as director and set designer is absolutely superb. Plus, Thomas Schiavoni brings an honest charm and youthful vigor to his role as young Watson."

What Grice failed to mention is she plays Mrs. Hudson in the show, which adds a women detective type of element to the show. In my opinion, Bonnie Grice has blossomed into an amazing actor especially capable of commanding the stage and propelling productions to next level.

She added, "Plus, I love the costumes and the interiors of the time. I've become an obsessed collector of costumes, fabric and furniture from the 19th century. I think my husband is a bit overwhelmed at times. But, he's super supportive since he shares a passion for the period. He's currently working on a book about a company of cavalry from Long Island that served in the Civil War. When you come to the show and see the set, just know that my house has been emptied to provide the set pieces. The costumes are a mix of history and a bit of steampunk for fun. Jo and I are super excited about the set and costumes and, of course, our cast! It's a rocking cast of East End stars familiar to SCC audiences. This going to be a real romp. Guaranteed to keep even the most rabid Sherlock fans on the edge of their seats. Be prepared for a Sherlock shock at the end..."

Lastly, she spoke about an added caveat, "boots on the ground theater strives to provide history and entertainment with a nod to our area students. We always provide an opportunity for a student actor to be featured in a main role alongside our veteran actors. We featured Southampton Middle Schooler Emma Suhr as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker in 2018. Thomas Schiavoni was our Henry in Red Badge and he returns for this production as the young Watson. Plus, we always provide at least one free show for students. This time it's a free matinee for high school students on Saturday, March 14 at 2 p.m.That will be followed by a Q&A with Detective Sgt. Lisa Costa from the Southampton PD. She'll compare detectives then and now."

Detective Sgt. Lisa Costa from the Southampton Town Police Department will be featured in a Q&A after the March 14 matinee. (Courtesy Photo)

To reserve seats for the free matinee, followed by the Q&A with Detective Sgt. Lisa Costa from the Southampton Town Police Department, on Saturday, March 14 at 2 p.m., email scc@scc-arts.org or call SCC Executive Director Kirsten Lonnie at 631-287-4377. The matinee is open to area high school students, and tickets will also be available for sale for the public online. Seating is limited.

Always the professional promoter, Grice added," This will sell out! And you can register there for the free student matinee at www.scc-arts.org. Seating is limited. Or call Kirsten Lonnie at 631-287-4377!" I always take Grice at her word.

Sherlock's Secret Life can be seen on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for students and $25 for general admission. A Dinner & Theater package will be offered at The Plaza Cafe, Le Chef, and Claude's at the Southampton Inn, while a Brunch & Theater package will be available at Fellingham's, Edgewater Restaurant, and Claude's at the Southampton Inn.

(NOTE: Following the advice of the Village of Southampton, beginning immediately, the Southampton Cultural Center will be closed until March 29th. Sherlock's Secret Life is cancelled through March, but boots on the ground theater may have an update soon about a reprise).

Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit www.scc-arts.org.

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