August 22, 2008

What is The 39 Steps?

The 39 Steps is based on the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film based on the spy novel by John Buchan. On Broadway, it's Hitchcock meets Monty Python...one of the most entertaining evenings I've ever had in a theatre. 4 actors playing 150 parts, lots of Hitchcock references, men in drag, funny accents, quick changes, even shadow puppets. How could you go wrong?

Richard Hannay (Sam Robards) is our typical Hitchcock protagonist wrongly accused of a crime and goes on the run to clear his name. (Mr. Robards is the only actor who plays a single character.) The night that we saw the show, he was joined by Claire Brownell, subbing for Jennifer Ferrin, the lone female who plays 3 characters. Hats off to the amazing Arnie Burton and Cliff Saunders, who play everybody else. Mr. Burton even plays 2 characters in one scene.



With a minimalist set, proper staging,music, lights, they pull off the craziest scenes, even a chase on top of a speeding train. (They rightfully won this year's Tonys for Best Lighting and Sound Design of a Play.) The show is witty, clever, silly but totally imaginative and did I say funny?

If you're like our dashing hero Richard, "tired of newspapers with tales of elections and wars, and rumors of wars, and long for something mindless and trivial", go to the theater! Mr. Hitchcock would highly approve of this loving spoof-homage.

4 comments:

Pinky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pinky said...

Ooo! When did you see it??

Lani said...

Wednesday. It was Cecile's bday and they went to see Jersey Boys while Lynn and I saw 39.

FanofJennifer said...

I can't wait to see Jennifer in this new play! She's a fab actress and one who is very missed on daytime!

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