THE 39 STEPS Comes to Gloucester Stage
Gloucester Stage Company continues its 40th Anniversary Season of professional theater with Patrick Barlow's witty mystery play The 39 Steps from July 5 through July 28 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. This award winning comic thriller adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow, from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and from the 1935 movie by Alfred Hitchcock, premiered on Broadway in 2008. The 39 Steps has played in over forty countries world-wide, winning Olivier (United Kingdom); Helpmann (Austraila); Moliere (France) and Tony Awards. The play garnered the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy; the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design; the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience; the 2009 Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Production; and the 2009 Moliere Award for Best Comedy.
Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh directs this imaginative adaptation of the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller. The 39 Steps contains every single legendary scene from the award-winning movie - including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and the sensational death-defying finale in the London Palladium. A cast of four actors plays over 150 characters in this fast-paced tale of Richard Hannay who feeling stricken with a boring life, sets out for adventure. He quickly gets swept up in a murder/espionage story and must save the entire UK from peril. Lewis D. Wheeler, last seen at GSC in 2017's To Kill a Mockingbird, returns to play Richard Hannay. The remainder of the GSC veteran cast includes Amanda Collins from 2017's To Kill a Mockingbird; Paul Melendy from 2018's Cyrano and Gabriel Kuttner from 2016's The Last Schwartz.
At GSC the four actors of The 39 Steps are joined on stage by a Foley Artist Malachi Rosen of Marblehead. Foley Artists are most often used to recreate the production of everyday sound effects in television, movies and BBC radio dramas. According to Walsh, "A Foley Artist is not a typical for the play either on Broadway or regionally, but our Sound Designer David Wilson proposed the idea, to good effect. Malachi's presence adds to the meta-theatrical humor that runs throughout... plus, he's a musician, so he'll be playing violin, accordion & drums in addition to a multitude of sound effects." A 2016 graduate of Marblehead High School and rising senior at Marymount Manhattan College, Rosen has over 100 sound cues to create for The 39 Steps.
Artistic Director and The 39 Steps director Robert Walsh has worked at Gloucester Stage as both an actor and director for over 20 years. Most recently, in 2018 he directed Cyrano; in 2017 he directed Bank Job, in 2016 he directed Songs For A New World and in 2015 he directed the Elliot Norton Award winning The New Electric Ballroom and starred in Gloucester Blue. Walsh's other GSC directing credits include North Shore Fish, FightingOver Beverley, The Widow's Blind Date, The Primary English Class, and Our Town. As an actor he has appeared on the stage in Gloucester in Sins of the Mother, The Subject Was Roses, The Barking Sharks, and Two for the Seesaw. He has also served as the Producing Artistic Director at the American Stage Festival where he directed Bus Stop, Intimate Exchanges, Jacques Brel..., and Lend Me a Tenor, among others. As Artistic Associate at Actors' Shakespeare Project he has directed As You Like It, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, and Measure For Measure. Other productions directed include: Othello with Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Round and Round The Garden, Table Manners, K2, Later Life and Holiday Memories at Merrimack Rep; Rancho Mirage, Race, Speed-The-Plow, and True West with New Repertory Theatre; The Secret of Sherlock Holmes and The Goatwoman of Corvis County at Shakespeare & Co.; Misallianceand A Life in the Theatre at Two River Theatre Co.; I Hate Hamlet with StageWest; The Little Foxes at Barter Theatre; and Of Mice and Men at Stoneham Theatre, among others. His roles in recent feature films include Black Mass, Patriot's Day and the upcoming, Altar Rock. Mr. Walsh directed the on-field ceremonies for the '99 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is on the faculty at Brandeis University.
Patrick Barlow's Olivier-nominated adaptation of A Christmas Carol and his version Lew Wallace's Ben Hur has played off-Broadway and London's West End. Most recently his re-writing of John Milton's Comus has played to critical acclaim at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Patrick is also celebrated in the UK for his two-man theatre company National Theatre of Brent, whose comedy epics include Wagner's Ring Cycle, The Charles and Diana Story, The Messiah, The Wonder of Sex, The Arts and How They Was Done, The Black Hole of Calcutta, The Life and Times of the Dalai Lama and Zulu! They have won two Sony Gold Awards, a Premier Ondas Award for Best European Comedy and the New York Festival Gold Award for Best Comedy. Mr. Barlow's screenwriting credits include Van Gogh (Prix Futura Berlin Film Festival), Revolution!! (Best Comedy Jerusalem Film Festival) and the BAFTA-winning The Young Visiters. Publications include Shakespeare: The Truth! and The Complete History of the Whole World. As an actor Mr. Barlow has also appeared in Absolutely Fabulous, Shakespeare in Love, Notting Hill, Nanny McPhee and Bridget Jones's Diary. He is currently writing theatre versions of The Hound of the Baskervilles and Dracula.
Lewis D. Wheeler has also appeared at GSC in The Totalitarians, Gloucester Blue, Doubt: A Parable, An Ideal Husband, and directed Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth. His recent credits include Between Riverside and Crazy, and Hand to God at SpeakEasy Stage; Nat Turner in Jerusalem, andRichard II with Actors' Shakespeare Project; Ideation, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and Muckrakerswith New Rep; Finish Line at Boston Theater Company; Blood on the Snow with the Bostonian Society; and five seasons with Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. Regionally he has worked at American Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Lyric Stage, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, Nora Theatre, Underground Railway Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Company, Huntington Theatre, American Stage (FL), Publick Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre, Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, Cape Rep. Mr. Wheeler was a founding member of Harbor Stage where he performed in The Seagull and Hedda Gabler, and directed David Rabe's Sticks and Bones. His film and TV credits include Manchester by the Sea, Black Mass, Pink Panther 2, The Company Men, Louisa May Alcott (PBS), Brotherhood, City on a Hill and the upcoming Honest Thief and Greta Gerwig's Little Women. Mr. Wheeler is a member of Theatre Espresso, performing interactive, historical dramas about social justice for students. He also participates in improv-based training programs at Boston Children's Hospital, helping clinicians practice challenging situations.
Amanda Collins previously appeared at Gloucester Stage in The Totalitarians, Out of Sterno (IRNE Nomination, Best Actress), This Is Our Youth and 9 Circles. Regionally she has been seen in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Merrimack Rep for which she received the Elliot Norton Award for Best Actress; Old Money with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Back the Night and Elemeno Pea with Boston Playwrights' Theatre; Women Who Mapped The Stars and The Life of Galileo at Central Square Theater; A Behanding in Spokane, The Bald Soprano, Speech and Debate, Shortstack, Colorado, and What Then with Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater; The Seagull with Harbor Stage/Modern Theatre; Fun Home, Men on Boats and My Name Is Asher Lev at Cape Rep; Taste of Sunrise with Wheelock Family Theater; When The World Was Green andAn Ideal Husband at American Stage, Florida; and Jester's Dead with The Outfit in NYC. Ms. Collins was a founding member of Harbor Stage Company. Her television and film credits include Olive Kitteridge (HBO); Castle Rock (Hulu); Boston's Finest (ABC Pilot) and Sea of Trees.
2019 marks Paul Melendy's fifth consecutive season with GSC. He has appeared in 2018's Cyrano; 2017's Bank Job, 2016's The Last Schwartz, and 2015's Sweet and Sad. His other recent area credits include Noir Hamlet with Centastage which he'll be taking to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this coming August, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas at Greater Boston Stage Company, Sorryat New Repertory Theatre, and A Confederacy of Dunceswith Nick Offerman at Huntington Theatre Company. Mr. Melendy can also be seen regularly in Boston's Shear Madness as Tony/Eddie and on television as The Naked Guy in a popular Bernie and Phyl's ad. Currently, he can be seen as The Unicorn in a string of Citizen's Bank web spots.. Some of Mr. Melendy's upcoming theater collaborations include The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberly at Merrimack Repertory Theatre directed by Shana Gozansky of GSC's recent Barefoot in the Park and in 2020 Miss Holmes Returns with Greater Boston Stage Company. Mr. Melendy's film credits include Unfinished Business with Vince Vaughn; The Pink Panther Deux with Steve Martin; The Makeover with Julia Stiles and Father of the Year with David Spade film for Netflix.
Gabriel Kuttner is a Boston-based actor, educator, producer and director. He has worked with Actors' Shakespeare Project, Lyric Stage, New Rep, Stoneham Theatre, Boston Playwrights' Theatre, Israeli Stage, Publick Theatre, WHAT, Harbor Stage as well as across the US and Europe. Mr. Kuttner was a founding member of Orfeo Group, whose work was thrice recognized by the Elliot Norton committee. As an actor, he has twice been the recipient of the IRNE award (Solo Performance and Best Supporting Actor). Mr. Kuttner has served on the faculty of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Salem State University and Northeastern University, where he has taught acting, public speaking, dialect and producing.