Wednesday, October 28, 2020

review - THE 39 STEPS - Hale Centre Theatre

Jere Van Patten, David Michael Paul, Alaina Beauloye, and Rob Stuart
Photo by Nick Woodward-Shaw

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through November 21

"A few theatres in the Phoenix area have started to resume live theatrical productions after being shut down since March due to COVID. Hale Centre Theatre, which was set to premiere The 39 Steps last April, decided to use this four-person cast show to resume their operations, which makes sense as the smaller cast size along with reduced seating capacity provides plenty of social distance between the cast and the audience. With two separate casts, a long list of safety measurements in place, and the added addition of a foley artist who provides live sound effects throughout the show, Hale's production allows for safety, but is also fast and fun and results in a joyous feeling of having live theatre back in town.
...Under Dave Dietlein's astute direction, the small cast, along with minimal sets, costumes and props, injects the production with a huge shot of theatricality as they, along with the audience's imagination, swiftly create not only dozens of characters but also the numerous locations in the plot....Rob Stuart evokes the perfect combination of charisma, manners, elegance and charm to depict Hannay as a proper English gentleman, though one with a constantly frenzied demeanor due to always being on the run. As the three women Hannay meets on his journey, Alaina Beauloye efficiently uses various accents, wigs, and a change in her body language to morph from one to the next. David Michael Paul and Jere Van Patten are hilarious as they use a non-stop parade of costumes, wigs and accents to play all the other characters in the show. The scenes on the train and in the hotel where Paul and Van Patten quickly change from one character to the next are fast paced and skillfully done...."   -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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