Arundel Barn Playhouse, ME

'39 Steps' runs at full throttle with over-the-top attitude, fun

"'The 39 Steps,' a Tony Award-winning comedy adapted from the legendary film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, has certainly proved popular with area theater companies...but right now the comic thriller/farce is paying a visit to the venerable Arundel Barn Playhouse and it starts the season off on a very high note."

"A backstage setting and many figurative and literal winks aimed at the audience give the show the sort of over-the-top theatrical attitude that draws everyone in on the fun. The allusions to other Hitchcock films alone make for a fun challenge for the crowd."

"Judging from Friday's performance, director Gary John La Rosa found just the right quartet of young actors to make the show work."

"Credit should be given to a technical crew for the numerous lighting, sound and set changes. This is a show that needs to stay at or near full-throttle and the Arundel staff got it done. Having fun with theatrical conventions while also paying tribute to how entertaining they still can be, this '39 Steps' is a winner."

Steve Feeney – Portland Press Herald

'The 39 Steps' a frenetic and funny performance of a Hitchcock classic
"Die-hard Alfred Hitchcock fans who go see The 39 Steps, at the Arundel Barn Playhouse may not get the drama they're expecting, but they won't be disappointed."

"This adaptation of the classic thriller, running from June 7 to June 25, is more likely to elicit laughter than to shock. But don't worry; that's completely intentional.

"Under the masterful direction of Gary John La Rosa, a talented group of actors re-enact the beloved film, but with a few key twists."

"Scene changes are done swiftly, occasionally in character and often to music, making the show run like a well-oiled machine. The level of commitment given to each scene shows that The 39 Steps is not merely a parody, but an homage. Particularly memorable is a scene involving a chase that will make audience members forget that the actors are not actually on top of a high speed train."

"Although the soundtrack draws from multiple Hitchcock films and the play makes quite a few sly nods to classics like 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' one doesn't have to be a film buff to enjoy this clever and fun show."

Erin Sullivan – Journal Tribune

'The 39 Steps' is Fast-Paced Summertime Farce

"Perfectly in keeping with her philosophy is The 39 Steps, a healthy dollop of rapid-fire laughs that won't challenge audiences but will certainly entertain them."

"Director Gary John La Rosa helms a cast of four professional actors from the New York area. Needless to say, the fiendishly clever German plot unravels and Britain's secrets are saved – with a million laughs."

Scott Andrews – Weekly Sentinel

Arundel's year book opens on a different page

"The opening production is The 39 Steps, a fast moving Hitchcockian-flavored mystery with just four cast members playing more than 100 characters and a set consisting of a door, a window, a table and an easy chair. If you let your imagination run, it's really a lot of fun."

"The audience might take a few minutes early on to get used to the sparse sets, but will soon enough note the ingenious use of one door and one window. It's quite a departure from the usual productions at Arundel. Besides the snappy dialogue, that is another reason to take in this totally different, interesting show."

Joe Sheehan – Seacoast Online

© 2024 Gary John La Rosa