By Patty Schaller
The Saint Francis Stage Company takes on a two-time Tony award-winning comedy-thriller Jan. 11—20 when it brings The 39 Steps to its stage in Burbank.
Daniel Roebuck, who also co-directs, plays urbane, bored Richard Hannay, who goes out for a night of theater in 1930s London and catches the eye of a mysterious woman in black. He returns alone to his townhome where the woman turns up dead.
With no more than that, Richard is cast into a headlong run for his life as a mysterious spy organization alternately pursues and is pursued by him from London to Scotland and back, as he fights to clear himself of the murder. Add the police, and train and moor chases, and hilarity ensues.
The 39 Steps, a spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, is a farce, with four characters playing over 150 roles, changing accents and costumes in the blink of an eye. In England, it won the Olivier award (the English equivalent of the Tony) and is still playi
ng in London’s West End.
“It’s silly in the best way,” says co-director Jesse Adams, whose day job is in television and movie props. He recently worked on Bridesmaids and for the Muppets.
He describes the show as “Monty Python-esque … It’s something adults and teens can have a lot of fun with. It’s a very professional group of people who are great at what they do.”
Roebuck as Richard Hannay is a veteran of numerous television roles and movies including The Fugitive and U.S. Marshalls.
The rest of the cast is mined from Saint Francis’s own parishioners. Chenoa Mitsui has three roles and Jim Roope and Chris Kenney share the rest.
This is the sixth year the Saint Francis Stage Company has offered quality plays and a lot of fun to raise money for their church and school.
The 39 Steps will be presented at the Saint Francis Xavier Hall located at 3801 Scott Rd. in Burbank. Admission is $15 for adults with a senior matinee admission of $10. For more information, please call the rectory at (818) 504-4400.