Sunday, March 14, 2010

39 Steps

After lunch with the Kunzes, headed to the Alley Theatre to watch The 39 Steps, a play adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock.

From the "Director's Notes" in the playbill:
« In The 39 Steps, Hitchcock throws into his cauldron of storytelling a severe mistrust of authority, a hero wrongly accused of murder, a wild journey through dangerous landscapes, a generous helping of wry humor, an examination of the battle between the sexes and, of course, a beautiful Hitchcock Blonde. All are signature ideas Hitchcock would return to again and again. »

The play adaptation calls for Hitchcock's 1935 film to be performed nearly verbatim onstage, but with a cast of only four. One actor plays the hero, one actress plays the three women with whom the hero has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play all the remaining characters, including policemen, train conductors, children, professors, spies, farmers, innkeepers, and inanimate objects.

Overall, the play is clever, fast-paced, family-friendly, and hilarious. The Alley production will run through March 28, so there's still time to go enjoy the performance.