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“39 Steps” Marches into Dallas

It was a beautiful night that found people of all ages making their way towards the historic Majestic Theatre this past Tuesday.  As the lights went dim and the crowd silent, a solitary figure could be seen on the stage.  He began to talk...and it was then that the audience knew they were in for a treat.  With a British accent that was as thick as it was fake, the story of Alfred Hitchcock's "39 Steps" had begun.  Within moments of beginning his monologue, Richard Hannay had the crowd bowled over with laughter, a condition that didn't stop for the majority of the night.

"39 Steps" tells the story of an Englishman who, bored with his life, decides to go to the theatre (yep, with an 're,' he is British after all), and while there becomes introduced to a mysterious woman who warns him of a plot to undermine the British government by a foreign spy.  His goal is to sneak vital secrets out of the country, and in so doing ferret away one of England's greatest military secrets.  Over the course of the ensuing two hours, Hannay finds himself on the run from the law and traveling all across Europe in an attempt to solve the riddle of the soon-to-be-stolen secret.  Along the way, he meets several characters, both shady and well intentioned, that add to the overwhelming hilarity of the plot.  However, perhaps the most interesting characteristic of this play is that, with all the characters Hannay meets...only 4 actors are used.

Part of the hilarity of this brilliant adaptation of Hitchcock's film by the same name comes from the fact that all of these various characters are played interchangeably by 3 actors, with Hannay being the sole character who does not suffer from a forced case of schizophrenia.  At any given moment man # 1 (as he is called) may be playing a police officer, train conductor, or passenger, vascillating from one role to the next as quickly as he can change hats- literally.  One would think that it would be difficult to follow such an involved and seemingly ever-changing cast, but the actors rise to the momentous task and make it an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience.

Brought to you by Dallas Summer Musicals, this touring Broadway show has already received much acclaim across the country, being hailed as "absurdly enjoyable," by the New York Times and "deliciously farcical" by Entertainment Weekly, as well as the being the recipient of two Tony Awards.  With clever turn of phrase and gilded references to one of cinema's most brilliant and prolific directors, "39 Steps" boldly marched its way onto the Majestic Theater stage and, though leaving town on Sunday, has definitely left an indelible mark on those that have been fortunate enough to see it.  Tickets are still available for this enjoyable and ingenious show, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Alfred Hitchcock's "39 Steps"-
Majestic Theatre
Ticket Prices Vary
Through Sunday, 1/31/10

Image compliments of Dallas Summer Musicals

1925 Elm St
Dallas, Texas 75201
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