Don’t miss the witty and delightful Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson, Apt. 2B at Portland Center Stage, and learn the secret to having spectacular date nights on the regular. (Spoiler alert: It’s elementary.)

Courtesy Portland Center Stage, Credit: Shawnte Sims

In the early days of child-rearing, our “date nights” consisted of slumping exhausted into bed and eating cookies while watching Netflix. And, honestly, I was perfectly content. Friends kept extolling the benefits of a night out and I just thought, “Yeah, yeah, but we’re having just as much fun binge-watching Dr. Who in our pajamas.”

If that’s you, if the idea of getting dressed and leaving the house after hours of you cut my sandwich wrong and I don’t want the ravioli I asked for and the water is too hot and too cold and too hot again seems daunting, hear me out.

Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson, Apt. 2B is 2 hours and 15 minutes of pure delight. This clever, laugh-out-loud show performed by actors with spot-on comedic timing and infectious chemistry is worth the activation energy required to get out the door. And you can even count it as your Valentine’s weekend outing, as it runs through February 12.

The dynamic crime-solving duo the world has loved since 1887, is modernized in this version, putting “the she in Sherlock.” Ashley Song’s Sherlock embodies eccentricities that are often celebrated in men and disparaged in women, and the audience cheers her for it. Growing up a child with a strong predilection for eccentricity myself, I felt glad in my bones to witness this feminist retelling.

The physicality of this show is also a joy to watch: the idiosyncratic way Sherlock moves about the stage, the expressions of Watson – get a close seat to enjoy the full effect of Kimberly Chatterjee’s performance – and the literal chess moves that make their way into many scenes.

There’s something for everyone in this show, from a joke about Anton Chekhov to another referencing Encyclopedia Brown. But before you get excited about bringing your youngest sleuth along, please note that the show is recommended for ages 12+, and much of the humor may be too complex for a young teen to enjoy. I’d suggest leaving them at home with a copy of Enola Holmes, while you enjoy a night out with a partner or friend.

Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson, Apt. 2B is everything I love about Portland Center Stage: it’s thought-provoking and progressive, wildly entertaining, whip-smart, and it leaves you with more things to discuss than you can fit into the ride home. If you buy season tickets now, you can have superlative nights out built into your calendar, with no decisions to make and plenty of time to book a sitter. One purchase gives you a season full of memories, so you can focus on the temperature of the bath water and cutting those sandwiches properly.

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So, yes, buy tickets to this show. But take it further. Become a regular.

Portland Center Stage is committed to access for all. Find spectacular savings here. BIPOC Affinity Night is February 8.

Meg Asby
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