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Sunday, September 1, 2013
ARCHIVE / 39 STEPS AT LAMB’S PLAYERS
Cast of "The 39 Steps" at the Lamb's Players Theatre thru September 22.
COMMUNITY SERVICE GUEST BLOG by
Marianne Regan (courtesy of San Diego
Metro magazine)-- Coming on the heels of a wildly successful summer run
of "Fiddler On the Roof," Lamb's Players presents the fourth offering
in their 2013 season, "The 39 Steps." Thinly-modeled after
Hitchcock's 1935 movie of the same name, this adaption by Patrick Barlow plays
fast and loose with all kinds of film noir settings, plots and atmosphere. Directed by Deborah Gilmour Smyth.
Four actors play a
multitude of characters among them and with just a few costume pieces, props,
accents and/or hats or hair extensions, you are instantly introduced to dozens
of denizens of the Scottish highlands, as our hero, young, bored, dashing
Richard Hanney, tries to get to the bottom -- or top -- of the 39 Steps.
Suave and debonair, David
S. Humphrey's Hanney, a Private I in search of a crime, is the only continuous
thread throughout the play. He meets with savory and unsavory characters on his
journey to find the murderer of young vixen Annabella, a Russian spy (the
versatile Kelsey Venter).
His journey takes him all
over the Lamb's stage, using ladders as set pieces or pools of light to signify
certain cities. Much like "Noises off!" doors open and close and open
again, and sometimes move on their own. The actors exit and enter so fast,
sometimes as different characters, that you have to be sharp to keep up with
all the comings and goings.
The accents alone are
hysterical and I do love a good brogue as
provided by resourceful
Robert Smyth (Clown #2).Exceptionally
talented Jesse Abeel, as Clown #1, plays several female characters along the
lines of Monty Python's Terry Jones. Indeed, the entire farcical nature of the
play resembles a long Monty Python skit and so there is no need to ferret out
the motives. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Every single Hitchcock
movie is referred to and it is fun to spot the clues.(It would have been even more fun to have a
"clue" check-off list in the program to further involve the viewer.)
The opening night crowd
thoroughly enjoyed the production and the actors can only get better - and
faster - throughout the run.Not as
family-friendly as "Fiddler," but if you love absurd theater, are a
Monty Python fan, or just want to go to out and have a silly evening, this is
the show for you.
"The 39 Steps"
runs through Sept. 22.Ticket info:
About the Author--Marianne Regan is a member of Actor's
Equity and SAG-AFTRA since 1981. She began a career in theater in 1976 at the
Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pa., and moved to San Diego in 1985. She
has performed at the North Coast Repertory Theater, the Mission Playhouse and
has taught and directed at the San Diego Junior Theater.