Well, that was fun. Dizzyingly, hilariously fun. Stage West’s performance of The 39 Steps, set the stage for a wildly entertaining date night.
We arrived at the show with very little research on this play and were blown away by the cast of four. They seamlessly and energetically played the role of over 150 characters (many within seconds of another!). The story, a mix of an Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece, and a comedic spy story, sees a boring 37 year old, Richard Hanny, embark on a wild (and often absurd) adventure across London and Scotland.
Now, I am not exactly up to date on my Alfred Hitchcock movies, so I missed several of the jokes (that the rest of the audience clearly caught) that paid tongue-in-cheek homage to some of the most memorable scenes from his movies. A couple of times I pretended to get it as the audience groaned in recognition and a few of them were an easy catch for me, such as the nod to Psycho, The Birds and Vertigo.
The absolutely amazing use of an entirely sparse set cannot be downplayed. Some old trunks, a smoke machine and some clever lighting created the brilliant illusion of a high-speed train ride, a bi-plane crash, and wild chases through the moors of Scotland. Add in some truly kooky characters with outrageous accents and you have the recipe for a truly fun evening at the theatre.
The dinner was delightful, as usual. I opted for some lighter fare this time, with a large salad and sushi. The service was excellent and our server was friendly and efficient.
This is a show that you should run, not walk to. It was wildly entertaining in a Monty-Python style fashion and one that is definitely worth seeing. It runs until April 1, 2012.
For more details, check out http://www.Stagewest.com