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"The 39 Steps"--Matinee, 6/28--mini-review & comments

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karen24
Broadway Star
joined:2/27/06
Broadway Star
joined:
2/27/06
My husband and I went to see "The 39 Steps" on Saturday afternoon. We both really enjoyed it. I loved watching the four actors as they quickly shifted from character to character. It was very funny and I enjoyed all of the little "in-jokes" regarding different Hitchcock movies. I was glad I got to see Charles Edwards as Hannay, since I read in the Playbill that he was planning to leave the production at the end of this month. He was excellent (although nothing like Robert Donat, but that was OK.) Loved Arnie Burton, Jennifer Ferrin and Cliff Saunders as well. The lighting and sound were, in fact, outstanding, so I'm glad they won the Tonys for that.
I had just seen the original movie not long before, and in some ways I think it might be better NOT to do that. So much of the dialogue in the play is taken straight from the movie; if you've seen the movie too recently I think there's the danger (at least there was for me) of paying too much attention to how much it's like the movie and not enough to all of the things that make the production unique.
I am still trying to figure out how both the woman sitting next to me and the woman sitting behind me could have slept through almost the entire second act! Fortunately, the one next to me was quiet, but the one behind me was snoring--lightly, to be sure, but still snoring. And some guy in the center orchestra had a Bluetooth gadget on his ear which he apparently didn't switch off all the way, because it was flashing a blue light around every time he moved his head. Really annoying, although probably more so for the poor people sitting near him. Otherwise, it was an attentive and quiet crowd.
The orchestra appeared to be just about full, so it seems they are pulling in good crowds, although I didn't get a look at the mezz.
Maggie-the-schnoodle
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mattnyc2
Broadway Star
joined:9/27/06
Broadway Star
joined:
9/27/06
Great review karen!

Although I really enjoyed the play, I thought it was more suited for an off-broadway house. This may be due to the fact that I was seated in the last row of the orchestra, which made the production feel kind of distant. Also I attended a Sunday matinee with a truck load of blue hairs who were mostly asleep throughout the performance, so there wasn't much laughing going on.

Glad you enjoyed the show.