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THE 39 STEPS tour gets rave in Washington Post

Washington Post
March 25, 2010

‘The 39 Steps’ at Warner Theatre
By Nelson Pressley

You don’t have to be an Alfred Hitchcock buff to get “The 39 Steps,” an absurdly silly comedy at the Warner Theatre this week. Four hammy actors wing their way through a 1930s movie thriller, playing everything from constables and spies to ingenues and brassiere salesmen — it’s funny, and that’s really all you need to know.

It’s propelled by crackerjack timing; think Monty Python on energy drinks. Director Maria Aitken has drilled a sense of arch Englishness and rapid patter into the performance, and although at times it gets pushed to the snapping point (and maybe beyond), the actors typically prove wily enough to sense the limits.

The show started as a two-actor affair in London, but Aitken expanded it to four. If you saw her bulky cinema history “As You Like It” at the Shakespeare Theatre Company last fall, this is the ultralight version of that movie-riffing impulse. And boy, is it quick on its feet.

The nimble actors switch characters at the drop of a hat, literally murmuring “hat” if one of them hasn’t switched into the proper topper on time. It’s practically a juggling act, as Eric Hissom and Scott Parkinson play a total of five characters conversing on a rail platform, hats and accents coming at you in a dizzying and comic cascade. While Hissom and Parkinson dash through a bushel of roles, Claire Brownell plays, to the hilt, a trio of love interests, including a Kim Novak-type blonde unhappily handcuffed to the hero, with the bad guys in pursuit.

To read the full review please Click Here.  

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