(LENOX, Mass.) – Shakespeare & Company opens its 2012-2013 Fall & Winter season with The 39 Steps, a comic adaptation of John Buchan’s novel, which also draws inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film of the same name, on Saturday, September 22, 2012. Featuring an all-star ensemble of company talent, including Elizabeth Aspenlieder (Bad Dates), Jason Asprey (Parasite Drag), David Joseph (The Tempest), and Josh Aaron McCabe (Hound of the Baskervilles), The 39 Steps offers an intriguing, sidesplitting evening or afternoon at the theatre.
The 39 Steps runs from Saturday, September 22, 2012, through November 4. 2012, in Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. Tickets are $15-$50, and Shakespeare & Company offers a wide range of discount options, including discounts for groups, students, senior citizens, military, teachers and our very popular 40% Berkshire Resident Discount. To view a complete schedule, receive a brochure, or inquire about discounts, call the Box Office at 413. 637.3353 or visit www.Shakespeare.org.
Richard Hannay is a perfectly normal Englishman who goes out for a perfectly innocent night at the theatre on a perfectly lovely evening in 1935. During the performance, he meets a mysterious woman with a frantic tale of an impending assassination and top secret plots against the government. Hannay is suddenly drawn into an epic, romantic espionage thriller, during which he’s chased by Nazis, framed for murder, and pursued by the police. Company actor and director Jonathan Croy (The Real Inspector Hound, Richard III, and Twelfth Night) concocts a hilarious brew of spy thrilling shenanigans, with the four-actor cast playing more than 150 roles.
“The 39 Steps is a terrific comedy, a four-actor stage adaptation of the Alfred Hitchcock classic, which itself was a film adaptation of a great adventure novel by the same name,” says Croy. ”I wouldn’t call this a parody — I think ‘parody’ comments on a subject by shifting its point of view, and I dislike the idea of a ‘spoof,’ which would imply that our intent is innately different than that of the movie or the book. For this play to be most effective, we’ll need to go straight at the story and create comedy through a deadly serious intent.”
In true noir fashion, Hannay finds love (a few times) and loses love (a few times), all while trying desperately to save the world. “For Richard Hannay, the fate of the world really is at stake,” continues Croy, “life-threatening dander really is life threatening, and love really does hang in the balance. The comedic vocabulary is one of extremity, and the surrealist nature of these quirky people and bizarre events becomes the metaphor that lifts the story to the epic size of the film and of the book.
“Besides, four actors on a (mostly) bare stage creating a great sprawling espionage thriller? That’s just plain fun.”