ATC Presents THE 39 STEPS Runs 1/14-2/26
The 39 Steps hits Arizona Theatre Company's stage at the Temple of Music and Art. Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps plays from January 14 - February 4, 2012 and continues its run in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater Center from February 9 - 26, 2012. Arizona Theatre Company's season sponsors are I. Michael and Beth Kasser.
Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have ... Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps. The madness begins when mild-mannered Richard Hannay starts his evening at the theatre and ends the night with a dead body in his lap. Caught in a maze of murder, espionage and flirtatious entanglements, our hero careens from the British music hall to the moors of Scotland and back to the London Palladium in search of a plausible alibi and the true identity of the killer. Four bravura actors play over 150 characters in telling Hitchcock's tale of mystery and espionage with jaw-dropping panache. Broadway's outrageous Tony-winning comedy smash proves that anything the movies can do, the theatre can do more hilariously!
"Half the fun of doing The 39 Steps is getting a chance to conjure up an authentic atmosphere of 'Hitchcockian' mystery, eroticism, and paranoia," said director Joel Sass. "I had wondered if in the midst of all the crazy game-playing, that part of the story might be lost; but you can sit in the audience and hear the gasps and the murmurs when our hero is about to step unknowingly into a trap, or a love interest from the previous act shows up. We're trying to pay homage to the artistic conventions of Hitchcock's suspense aesthetic while simultaneously doing an affectionate send-up of those same conventions. The audience derives humor from the fact that they can recognize what is being parodied, in addition to the fact that what they're watching is actually funny all on its own."
Alfred Hitchcock (Author) was an English-born, internationally celebrated film director who became known as "the master of suspense." He spent the 1930s directing a series of suspense and adventure thrillers that eventually would define his aesthetic, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Sabotage, The Lady Vanishes and, in 1935, The 39 Steps. He left England for Hollywood in 1939, where his early body of work included Rebecca, Suspicion, Shadow of a Doubt, Spellbound and Rope before he struck out on his own as a producer in 1948. His work continued to be defined by the suspense thriller, and he worked with the leading actors of his time as he created Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo and North by Northwest, which he acknowledged was a kind of remake of The 39 Steps, with the unassuming hero dropped into an adventure that includes a cross-country chase. His career reached into the 1970s, by which time he had mastered the craft of building suspense - and of understanding human psychology. He was knighted in 1980, the year he died.
John Buchan (Author) was a writer, soldier and statesman born in Scotland. During World War I, Buchan worked first as a Times correspondent then in the Foreign Office and finally as the director of information. He wrote and published the first two Richard Hannay novels, The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle, during the war. In addition to his popular spy and adventure novels, Buchan also wrote several major histories and biographies.
Patrick Barlow (Adaptor) created The National Theatre of Brent in 1980, where his comedic alter-ego, Desmond Olivier Dingle, is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive. Mr. Barlow also wrote the libretto for Judgement of Paris and Requiem for a Relationship. His film and television writing credits include Messiah, Van Gogh, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, Mighty Movements from World History, among others. Also an actor, Mr. Barlow's theatre credits include The Knack, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Loot, The Common Pursuit, Silly Cow and The Wind in the Willows. His film credits include Shakespeare in Love, Notting Hill, The Girl from Rio, Bridget Jones' Diary, and Nanny McPhee. His television acting credits include French and Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous, and A Bit of Fry and Laurie, among many others.