May 8, 2008

The 39 Steps Opens Again

Our production of Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps opens again on Broadway at the Cort tonight... Playbill has the story here. Charlie Edwards, Arnie Burton, Cliff Saunders, and Jennifer Ferrin (L to R in the above photo by Joan Marcus), continue in their roles. We wish everyone a healthy "break a leg"! Managing Director Michael Maso and incoming Artistic Director Peter Dubois will be on hand tonight in NYC to deliver our best wishes. The rest of us are getting ready for a She Loves Me dry tech tomorrow night.

I visited the production in rehearsal at the Cort two weeks ago with my sister, and my 10 yo nephew, and 12 yo niece. It was great to see so many familiar faces backstage and at the tech tables. Two of the Boston crew are still with the production - BU stage management student Rosy Garner and dresser Peggy Donovan. Rosy has been commuting back to Boston for classes on Monday all semester. We also saw Stage Managers Nevin Headly and Janet Takami, as well as the Production management team from Aurora productions. Kevin Adams (lighting) and Drew Levy (sound) , were busy behind their tech tables again, and it was nice to see lighting assistant Hillary Manners. It's a small world. Director Aitken, who has been busy directing a new production in Australia, sent her best back to the Huntington. I delivered IRNE awards to Clilff Saunders and Arnie Burton. More awards are expected soon at the Norton and Drama Desk ceremonies.

We've sent them a few new costumes - Jennifer Ferrin has had a new dress for every production - and Charlie, who uses two suits for each show, is on his second set. I expect we'll be called for the third in a few months. The four chairs in the show - which survived the Boston run to our surprise, also made it almost all the way through the run at the Roundabout - with their back ups going on in the final week there. Everything (and everyone) looks great and it's nice to see our work up on Broadway once again.

The above photo is by T. Charles Erickson.

We got to watch a few hours of tech rehearsal - a little bit of the bog chase, where they brought back the "Boston" stream, some new blocking in the "door" scene in the mansion on the moors, and some of the shadow play. Ben and Kendra (my nephew and niece) were probably the most engaged they had been the entire weekend. Ben, who likes to figure things out, wanted to know if it was rated PG-13 and if he could watch the movie when he got home. Kendra was thrilled that they were the only guests in the theatre. Ben wanted to know if the show was like the movie "Clue". I didn't have an answer for that one, but it was fun to explain some of the tricks behind the shadow play chase scene. We got to see that about 5 times, as they would stop each time to fix a little snag, go back and start all over again. I thought the kids would be bored after two hours of stops and starts - but they weren't. Clearly it's time to get them to the theatre more often. Hopefully the show will run for years (like it has in London) and we'll be back to NY to see the show from start to finish someday.

This just in: Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film classic, The 39 Steps, will air on Turner Classic Movies on Monday, May 12th at 8:00PM,. TCM host Robert Osborne will introduce the film and discuss the hit Broadway production, Alfred Hitchcock’s THE 39 STEPS, which is running at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. Check local listings for channel information.

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