Saturday, March 6, 2010

39-Steps, Portland Center Stage (Grade A)

Director: Nancy Keystone
Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan and the Movie by Alfred Hitchcock and an original concept by Nobby Dimon and Simon Corble

Richard Hannay          .....           Leif Norby
Anabella/Margaret/Pamela   .....  Christine Calfas
MAN #1             .....                  Darius Pierce
MAN #2             .....                  Ebbe Roe Smith

sez says: This is fun, laugh out loud theater. It is full of purposely missed cues, intentionally broken props, fake knives, and jokes of all sorts flying around.  And while all four of the actors deserve praise the show belongs to MAN #1 and MAN #2 (Pierce and Smith) who are both exceptional talents. Pierce has become one of my favorite Portland based actors: he is fearless and brings just a hint of madness to his characters.  Smith--whom I'd not seen before--matches the deadpan mayhem that Pierce provides--with the delivery of a physical comedy that sent waves of laughter through the audience with a simple change in facial expression alone.  Of course you need the right vehicle for their talents --and 39 Steps is it.  The carrying on of these two never fell into madcap but never missed a beat in the requirement to shape-shift from one character to another and to keep the party fun all night long.   Norby too was well cast and fully engaged -- but  he didn't top Calfas performance -- whose training in Indian Classical Dance lends itself to her body-language that is both camp yet sensuous.

mjc says:  this was very fun, the kind of theater I like, lots of body stuff and dialogue to match.  RECOMMENDED - Grade A

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