Monday, January 12, 2015

review THE 39 STEPS Mesa Encore Theatre

To find out more information on this production that runs through January 25th click here.

"When The 39 Steps opened on Broadway in 2008 it was a revelation in how a very small cast of just four actors and minimal sets, costumes and props could combine to create a theatrical experience evoking dozens of characters and numerous locations. Mesa Encore Theatre's decision to present the play, but practically double the cast size from four to seven, seemed to be a possible affront to the minimalistic approach that was so successful. But the slight expansion in cast and the incredibly smart addition of having one of the actors provide on-set piano accompaniment actually makes the piece work even better. So, purists of the four person version of the play, you have no need to stay away, in fact I urge you to go to see what director Brian Foley has achieved.

With a perfect balance of manners and charm, Kent Burnham plays Hannay as the perfectly proper English gentleman. While it's mainly a serious role, Burnham adds bits of humor throughout and his use of facial gestures and glances alone elicit chuckles.

Director Foley adds a superb touch with the addition of Drew Nichols, who not only provides a live piano underscore throughout the show but also skillfully plays with relish the evil professor that Hannay is seeking to find.

The 39 Steps is an homage to the master of suspense himself, and any fan of Hitchcock, suspense, comedy, spoof, or theatrical imagination is bound to have a good time with the production...in many ways, especially with the live piano accompaniment, the MET production exceeds the imaginative nature of the original production." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

No comments:

Post a Comment