Clackamas Repertory Theatre presents its final production of the
season "The 39 Steps," a madcap farce adapted by Patrick Barlow
from John Buchan's novel and Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 film. The show
opens Friday, Sept. 20, and ends on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Barlow turned "The 39 Steps" into a farce by having four actors
play the 151 characters from Hitchcock's thriller. One actor plays
the hero, Richard Hannay, who is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly
game of espionage. The lone actress plays three characters, leaving
the remaining two actors, Clown 1 and Clown 2 to represent all 147
characters, a variety of heroes, villains, men, women, children and
the occasional inanimate object.
Lightning-fast costume changes and spin-around character turns
abound in a non-stop piece that plays out in a hilarious manner
despite the seriousness of the original book and film. Barlow fills
the script with puns, innuendoes and jabs at Hitchcock films such
as "North by Northwest," "Strangers on a Train," "Vertigo,"
"Psycho," and "Rear Window."
Directed by the company's artistic director, David
Smith-English, the show features Clackamas Rep company members.
Jayson Shanafelt (Elwood P. Dowd, "Harvey") plays Hannay; Jayne
Stevens plays three characters, including the German spy who is
murdered, leaving Hannay to solve the mystery; Travis Nodurft plays
Clown 1; and James Sharinghousen (Emcee, "Cabaret") plays Clown 2.
Nodurft happens to be a real-life clown who toured with Ringling
Brothers and Barnum & Bailey.
Pre-show lectures, "Hitchcock Talk," with Ernie Casciato, take
place an hour before performances every Saturday and two Sundays,
September 29 and October 6.
"The 39 Steps" runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. All performances are in the
Niemeyer Center at Clackamas Community College. Tickets may be
purchased at clackamasrep.org or by
calling 503-594-6047. The low-price preview is Thursday,
September 19. For more information, contact CRT managing
director Cyndy Smith-English at 503-594-3915.