A&E Spotlight: "The 39 Steps" Second Street Players Latest Production
Posted: Feb 1, 2018 8:06 PM
By Michael Sprouse
(MILFORD, Del.) In this episode of the A&E Report, host Michael Sprouse gets a behind the curtain look at the Second Street Players' production of "The 39 Steps" currently on stage (Feb. 3rd, 4th, and 5th remaining show dates) at the Riverview Theatre at 2 South Walnut Street in downtown Milford, Delaware.
The hilarious spoof of the famous Alfred Hitchcock film is directed by Tommye Staley. He joins her and cast members for a sneak peek at the rollicking, highly physical, madcap show. The two-time Tony® and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters played by a ridiculously talented cast (each donning multiple personas), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance!
The plot: a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she's a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called "The 39 Steps" is hot on the man's trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale!
Director Tommye Staley, who has been active in both professional and community theatre for decades, tells Sprouse during the interview that it was one of the most fun stage productions that she has been involved with for a long time.
A cast of more than 14 performers portray multiple roles in the high action stage production. The show's ingenious use of costuming, props and set design only add to the amusement as they are both highly effective and humorous to see from the audience.
The action is practically non-stop from beginning to end and the cast is perfectly tuned to master the demanding use of timing that is the source for many laughs from the house. They may make it look easy and natural, but it took many weeks of intense rehearsals to make it work so seamlessly.
Phil Staley (husband of Tommey, actor and one of the Set Designers/Prop Masters along with Assistant Director Mike Amory) is a tall, deep voiced man with a genuine and pronounced handle bar moustache. But that doesn't stop him from performing a multitude of roles in the show including that of Mrs. McGarrigle, an old Scottish Innkeeper's wife in a sidesplitting performance.
Carol Torrey is perfectly cast as both the German seductress and spy Anabella Schmidt and Pamela (a happy-go-lucky young British woman minding her business on a train until fate steps in). Torrey's uproarious death scene and the ensuing chaos had the packed audience in stitches.
Jose Barnard plays the lead as Richard Hannay, and while he is the only cast member playing just one role (unless you count the time when he is mistaken as a guest speaker at a political rally in another hysterical scene), the entire show centers around his character and the zany situations he finds himself in while trying desperately to prove his innocence and save the world. Barnard's comic timing and delivery is spot on.
In fact, the entire cast shines brightly in this comic gem. There is an amazing amount of work that went into this "not to be missed" production and it underscores just what community theatre is all about - fun, creativity, camaraderie and dedication
The remaining performances of "The 39 Steps" are Friday, February 2nd and Saturday the 3rd at 7:00 PM and Sunday, February 4th at 2 PM. For more information and tickets, visit http://www.secondstreetplayers.com/aboutThe39Steps.html.