Mitchell Field

Reviews

‘The 39 Steps’ at Ross Valley Players, Ross, California…

For some all-out summer fun don’t miss ‘The 39 Steps’ at Ross Valley Players…

Deftly directed by RVP newcomer Adrian Elfenbaum, whose ‘Dead Accounts’ was a hit for the College of Marin a couple of seasons ago, John Buckan’s zany Pythonesque comedy roars along completely out of control, just the way it was written to…

The play is about a London everyman, Richard Hannay, who becomes caught up in preventing an organization of spies called the 39 Steps from stealing British military secrets. After being mistakenly accused of the murder of a counter-espionage agent, Hannay hi-tails it to Scotland with an attractive woman, trying to thwart the spy ring and clear his name.
The 1935 film version by Alfred Hitchcock was voted the best British film of that year… The concept of a four-actor stage version of the story is by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

The stage version of ‘The 39 Steps’ which ran for nine years in London’s West End and won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2007 and the 2008 Tony Award, calls for the entirety of Hitch’s 1935 film ‘The 39 Steps’ to be performed onstage with a cast of only four actors…

One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, (Michael Monagle in his RVP debut), RVP regular Robyn Grahn, who starred in RVP’s ‘Emilie’ recenty, plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements and two other actors Sean Garahan and RVP newcomer Andre Amarotico) play every other character in the show: the heroes, villains, men, women and even children, which necessitates lightning-fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once. The whole side-splitting shebang is played for laughs and the script is full of allusions to Alfred Hitchcock films.

Monagle oozes plummy poise and unerring charm as the stiff-upper-lipped Hannay, particularly considering his returning just two years ago to the stage after a 21-year hiatus…

Grahn continues to delight with every RVP outing and steals some of Buchan’s scenes, particularly as a mixing-spoon caressing, sexed-up farm wife…

Garahan is a whirling dervish of energy in multiple roles, as is Amarotico, whose deadpans are also a delight.

This show is a gem and RVP’s version is a corker, don’t miss it!

Where: Ross Valley Players, Ross, California.

When: Through August 20 2017

Tix: rossvalleyplayers.com

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