The Segal Centre will be presenting the world premiere of Sherlock Holmes, starring Jay Baruchel as the iconic consulting detective, until May 28.
Known for box offices successes such as Million Dollar Baby, Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder, proud Montrealer and NDG-raised Baruchel is relishing the chance to work and perform in his hometown.
“It’s huge for me,” he said, about performing in Montreal.
“I’m accustomed to leaving the city and leaving the country for work. I can’t overstate how lovely it is to wake up in my own bed and drive my own car to work every day,” Baruchel said at a recent press conference held at the Segal Centre.
“This is where I grew up, where ideally I’ll live the rest of my life. I like to do anything I can to contribute to this culture – it’s the only neighbourhood in the world where I care what other people think of me, so it has a great deal of importance for me,” he added.
Baruchel has been acting onscreen for the better part of the last two decades, getting his start in the mid-90s on shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark and Popular Mechanics for Kids.
The 31-year-old actor hasn’t performed onstage since his teenage years.
“I won’t lie, at first I was horrified,” he said. «I haven’t done this in a while, unlike all my fellow cast members. It’s forced me to think about acting in a completely different way, and I know I’m better for it, a better actor and a better writer.”
In what is being called a slightly darker, modern take on the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tale, director Andrew Shaver will be bringing to life the work of Greg Kramer, the scriptwriter who was sadly found dead on the first day of rehearsals in early April.
“His death really galvanized everyone. We rallied to do it for Greg, to honour him,” said Shaver.
“We want it to be as good as possible, since the lovely man who created it is no longer with us,» added Baruchel.
Kramer was slated to act in the play, and following his death the cast needed to be filled out. One of the actors doing so is NDG’s Matthew Gagnon, who will be playing a number of roles.
“Before I knew I was in it, I had actually bought tickets,” Gagnon told the paper, adding that the young cast, led by Baruchel, has given the play “real youthful energy. It’s been great to watch Jay inhabit this classic character in his own unique way.”
Sherlock Holmes runs until May 28 at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, 5170 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Rd.
Courtesy photo/André Lanthier