Take a young, bored Englishman, add three beautiful women and blend in a steady stream of spies, policemen and assorted city and country folk.
Have just four actors play all those characters, and you’ll wind up with a madcap theatrical rendition of the spy thriller, “The 39 Steps.”
The 6th Street Playhouse has revived its 2012 production, with many of the same cast members presenting the zany version of a man who becomes caught up in pre-World War II espionage, accused of murder and faced with trying to thwart the theft of a great national secret.
The story is best known as a film by Alfred Hitchcock. But here it becomes an inventive, slapstick tale where the cast will do almost anything for a laugh. Don’t worry if one gag or scene doesn’t tickle your funny bone. Another one is already coming at you.
Four actors reportedly play over 150 roles. The action rarely slows.
The show officially opens tonight. But at Thursday night’s preview performance, given as a fundraiser for Santa Rosa’s nonprofit Journey Center, the audience laughed uproariously and gave a warm ovation to the four cast members: Adam Burkholder, Paul Huberty, April Krautner and Larry Williams.
“The 39 Steps,” under the direction of Craig A. Miller, continues each weekend and each Thursday except Thanksgiving through Dec. 8 in the playhouse’s 99-seat, black box Studio Theater. General tickets for most shows are $25 (seniors and youth, $20), while Thursday evening and Saturday matinees are $20 (seniors and youth, $15).
For tickets and more information on the show, visit the playhouse website.
– Robert Digitale