Thursday, January 13, 2011

The 39 Steps


Oh man, I loved this play so much.

The 39 Steps is a stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's movie by the same name (itself an adaptation of a spy novel by John Buchan).  It ran on Broadway for two years, before moving to an off-Broadway theater nearly a year ago.  And all the while, I meant to see it - I kept meaning to see it! - but I didn't.

Then last month I heard it was closing for good. Time was running out; no more procrastination. I bought my ticket for last night's performance and took myself on an artist's date.

And I'm so sad I delayed, because I loved everything about it!  If I had seen the play earlier, I would certainly have wanted to go see it again (dragging several of you with me). Alas, though - it closes on Sunday and I'm leaving town.  Last night was my one-and-only.  But if you live nearby  - catch it while you can!

The story is set in the 1940's (my era! my style! my music!) and follows one man's struggle to clear his name of murder and stop a nefarious spy ring from compromising England's air defense.

And it's funny.  So, so funny.  It pokes fun at itself, at its genre, it makes reference to other Hitchcock movies and to the man himself.  There are shadow puppets, strategic use of wind machines and dry ice, inventive staging, creative storytelling.

The best part?  Four actors play about a hundred different roles throughout.  There was one particularly amazing scene where an actor played three different men in rapid succession, distinguishing them with different hats and accents.

Reading over that last sentence, I confess it maybe doesn't sound so amazing.  It may be a "you had to be there" moment.  But I promise - if you have the opportunity to be there before the play closes on Jan. 16th - you will be amazed, too.

That movie poster isn't lying: The 39 Steps is a "dizzy delight" and "absurdly enjoyable."  Totes worth the price of admission.


Jennifer M. said...

Brilliant - I love it! I'm totally going to start doing this. Do you do morning pages too? This was a fascinating article - thanks for sharing. :)

Kristy said...

Ack, this comment is a month late - sorry for the unintentional delay! I have done morning pages in the past (and found them helpful, grounding, therapeutic) but unfortunately haven't maintained the habit. Artist dates are great, too. I've only ever made it through chapter 4 of Cameron's book "The Artist's Way" (where these practices come from) but from what I hear - it's a worthwhile book to work (all the way) through.