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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The 39 Steps!

Rehearsals have begun for the last show of CPP's 2015 season. Fast-paced and critically acclaimed, The 39 Steps is a melodrama adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. The original concept and production of a four-actor version of the story was by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. Patrick Barlow rewrote this adaptation in 2005.
Directed by Theresa Louviere, the cast includes Warren Douglas as Richard Hannay, Ashley Treib in ALL the female roles, Jim Weinzettle in multiple roles, including Clown 1, and Jeremy Parker, also in multiple roles, including  Clown 2. Assisting in various capacities will be Ty Cedars, Melissa Savage, and Erin Simon. 
The play's concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film The 39 Steps to be performed with a cast of only four. The play shares the plot and characters with the film. However, the play is a more comic treatment of the story, in the style of Monty Python and Barlow's own National Theatre of Brent, compared to the original and more serious film. The play incorporates references and use of music excerpts from other Hitchcock films. The cast of four actors portrays between 100 and 150 roles, including actors doubling parts within the same scene. The quick, comic changes are reminiscent of Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep. The part of Richard Hannay is the only one where the actor does not double in another role in the play.
Besides the role of the hero Richard Hannay, an actress (or sometimes actor) plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object. This often requires lightning fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once. Thus the film's serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest
Start making plans to experience this wonderful comedy, October 1 – 11! As usual, tickets will be available through Ticket-Central online http://ticket-central.org/stage-central/, as well as at the door.
Who:  City Park Players
What:  The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow
When:  October 1-11, Thurs.–Sat. @ 7:30pm; Sunday Matinees @ 2:30pm
Where:  Hearn Stage at the Kress Theatre, Downtown Alexandria

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