GENESIUS THEATRE – READING, PA – Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have Alfred Hitchcock’s THE 39STEPS. This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award winner is making its Berks County and Regional Debut at Genesius Theatre, opening Friday, August 29, thru September 7.
Loaded with references to famous Hitchcock films, plus hilarious slapstick and a gripping spy plot, The 39Steps at Genesius Theatre is a delight for film-‐buffs, theater-‐goers and anyone ready to laugh! You truly can’t miss this impeccable cast of just four to create a stellar interpretation of this Hitchcock masterpiece. Funny men Brandon Reimer and Caleb Seip take on the roles of the clowns, comedic foils who together play over 150 outrageous characters. At the play’s center are James Haggerty as the charming investigator and Julia Elberfeld as the beautiful, albeit mysterious leading lady. Fast-‐paced and full of surprises, this show takes the classic story of The 39Steps and packs it with tons of jokes and allusions to Hitchcock signatures. It’s a zany roller coaster ride you’ll want to see again and again!
The play is adapted by Patrick Barlow, directed by Genesius Artistic Director, L J Fecho and features sets by John Bigos, costumes by Cathy Miller, lighting by Spencer Moss Fecho, and is stage managed by Zach Frantz. The production is based on an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon and on the book by John Buchan.
THE STORY: Seeking a frivolous night out at the theatre, Richard Hannay is lured into a world of intrigue by a mysterious woman claiming to be a spy. When she winds up dead in his flat, he flees London with the police hot on his trail. This is a classic portrayal of one man’s flight from wrong accusation through a series of misadventures and old-fashioned romance. THE 39STEPS features a cast of four actors who, against all odds, breathlessly and hilariously attempt to reenact all of the characters, locations and famous scenes in Hitchcock’s 1935 film thriller with just a few props and a lot of theatrical ingenuity and split second quick changes. A maze of murder and espionage entangles our innocent, mild-mannered protagonist as he navigates a flirtatious blonde, an on-stage plane crash, and death-defying spectacles
THE 39STEPS opened to deliriously ecstatic reviews. Ben Brantley, New York Times, called the production, “Absurdly enjoyable! This gleefully theatrical riff on Hitchcock’s film is fast and frothy, performed by a cast of four that seems like a cast of thousands. The actors themselves seem to be having a helluva good time. As does the audience.” Clive Barnes, New York Post, pronounced THE 39STEPS “Inventively astonishing, riotous & marvelous.” Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News, exclaimed, “Hitchcock probably never imagined his thriller had the makings of a hilarious comedy, but this show is a dizzy delight and an ingenious spoof. A fast-paced fun ride!” THE 39STEPS has been a runaway hit in London’s West End playing to sell-out houses where it continues to delight and thrill audiences. It was a very huge hit on and off Broadway as well!
“This hysterical send-up of this Hitchcock thriller is going to be quite a comedic challenge for us at Genesius. It may only have 4 actors and a simple setting, but the comedy is very fast paced and our actors will need to hit every last joke right on the noggin. We have four of the best local comedians in this production and I know they are all up to the task.” said, L J Fecho, the Artistic Director of Genesius and Director of the show. Fecho also said, “I saw this show about six years ago in New York and from the moment the comedy started, I knew that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I am so excited to get a chance to make this happen on our very intimate stage setting at Genesius”!
“ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S – THE 39STEPS” – At Genesius Theatre – Opens FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, (8PM) runs AUGUST 30, & SEPTEMBER 5 & 6, at 8PM, AUGUST 31 & SEPTEMBER 7, at 2PM, SEPTEMBER 3 & 4, at 7:30PM. To purchase tickets with all major credit cards visit our web site at GenesiusDifference.org or call 610-373-9500. Tickets range from $15.00 to $25.00, and credit card fees apply. Ticket also available at the door. If you need more information please contact the theater at 610-371-8151. Genesius Theatre is handicap accessible and there is free parking aside of the theater (limited spaces available). This production is rated G.