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‘39 Steps’ at Sondheim

Oct 31, 2012

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps.”

Alfred Hitchcock’s award-winning “The 39 Steps” is Broadway’s longest-running comedy thriller, and it makes a stop at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

A mind-blowing cast of four actors play more than 150 characters in this fast-paced tale of an ordinary man on an extraordinary entertaining adventure.

“The 39 Steps” follows a man with a boring life as he meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. The madness begins when mild-mannered Richard Hannay starts his evening at the theatre and ends the night with a dead body in his lap.

Caught in maze of murder, espionage and flirtatious entanglements, our hero careens from the British music hall to the moors of Scotland and back to the London Palladium in search of a plausible alibi and the true identity of the killer.

Soon after, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt.

Winner of two Tony and Drama Desk Awards and London’s Oliver Award for Best New Comedy, “The 39 Steps” is Broadway’s most intriguing, most riotous, most unmissable smash hit packed with laughs and thrills.

The play’s concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film “The 39 Steps” to be performed nearly verbatim onstage, but with a cast of four. One actor plays the hero Richard Hannay, an actress plays the three women whom he has romantic entanglements with, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object. This often requires lightning fast quick changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once. Thus the film’s serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to — and puns on the titles of — other Alfred Hitchcock films, including “Rear Window,” “Psycho” and “North by Northwest.”

Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” is part of the 2012-13 Sondheim Artist Series and presented by Aeron Lifestyle Technologies, Robert Tree and KRUU.

Tickets are $22 for Zone 1, $18 for Zone 2, $15 for Zone 3. Youth tickets are $12. Tickets are available at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center Ticket Office, 472-2787 and www.FairfieldACC.com.

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