View Mobile Site

Hitchcock thriller gets a comedic twist

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED May 26, 2012 1:28 a.m.

SONORA — Beautiful spies, cloaks and daggers, speeding trains and a mystery man with a missing pinky. Those ingredients whirl into one wild adventure in Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, Broadway’s hilarious, high-speed thriller sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The Tony Award-winning comedy plays at Sierra Repertory Theatre’s East Sonora stage June 1 through July 1.

An amazing cast of four actors play dozens of different characters in this ingenious adaptation of Hitchcock’s classic spy movie about a mild-mannered hero plunged into a maze of murder, romance and intrigue. It’s a fast and frothy whodunit that celebrates the magic of theater.

The story opens in pre-war London, when bored bachelor Richard Hannay wanders out for an evening at the music hall and finds himself suddenly entangled with a mysterious young woman with a desperate secret that could decide the fate of Europe. When she’s murdered in his apartment, he’s yanked into her world of spies and double agents, falsely accused and chased across Britain as he tries to clear his name and save his country from a sinister plot.

A smash-hit on Broadway, in London and at regional theaters across the country, The 39 Steps had audiences and critics raving. The New York Times called it “absurdly enjoyable,” The New York Daily News wrote, “Once this fun ride leaves the station, you don’t want to get off!” and the New York Post called it “the most entertaining show on Broadway.”

Sierra Rep Producing Director Dennis Jones will direct the show and design the inventive set, which keeps the action racing from downtown London, over the countryside, across the Scottish moors and back again. Jones has a team of experienced actors that includes New Yorker Toby Miller as the dashing hero, and comedians Jim Shine, David Thornton and Laura Cable as multi-character players. Thornton, Miller and Cable are new to Sierra Rep, and Shine just appeared in a host of roles in SRT’s production of Gypsy.

“I’m a big admirer of Alfred Hitchcock and his manipulation of mood on screen,” Jones said. “This show has fun with that, with a cross of his ‘noir’ style and slightly off-the-wall farce. We see this normal, kind of charming hero and all the adventures he goes through to save England from a nest of spies.”

Jones is working with guest lighting designer Christopher Littman and guest costume designer Scott Anderson. Littman worked with Jones to design lights for last season’s production of The Rainmaker and will be helping to set the mood and shift the action in 20 different locales. Anderson, a Pennsylvania artist, will be working with SRT’s costume staff to come up with dozens of quick-changes for ‘30s era characters, from farmers and frumpy innkeepers to British detectives and assorted German spies.

Also on the production team are SRT resident props master Mercy DeHerrera, sound designer and engineer Ty Smith, and resident stage manager Tara Cookson.

SRT’s production of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps is dedicated to the memory of long-time SRT friend and trustee Judy Carlson and is presented with the help of season sponsor Clarke Broadcasting, Silver Partner Golden State Cellular and Underwriter MicroTronics.

Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps opens June 1 and plays through July 1 at SRT’s East Sonora Theatre. Thursday and Friday performances begin at 7, Saturday evening performances are at 8 and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees begin at 2. Ticket prices range from $24 to $30 depending on the day of the performance. The show is rated PG, appropriate for all audiences ages 10 and up.


Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...