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Thirty-Nine Steps, 12 parts, 8 weeks

Well, and it has been three months since Your Humble Blogger wrote I fully plan to take a longish break from theater, and thus from theater-blogging and it seems that longish constitutes about three months. Yes, I am back in the proverbial, this time as one of the clowns in The Thirty-Nine Steps. Our first read-through was last night, and it was as much fun as any read-through I have done. I think our director suffered a laugh-related injury, which is on the whole a Good Thing. The best part (from my point of view) is that my fellow clown and I fell easily into rhythms—he observed that producing this script is all about timing, and he is correct in that, and it’s lovely to know from day one that he knows it, and that our timing is compatible. So that’s all right. And the remaining cast seem to be excellent. The woman who plays three young attractive ladies (I play the three old unattractive ones) showed three wonderful accents, plausible but funny, and a nice sense of timing herself. And the fourth is a fellow I have worked with before, and who managed (if tentatively at this point) the trickiness of being a funny straight man. And that’s the whole cast.

It’s the same theater, director and perhaps most important the same stage manager I worked with in Twelfth Night, too. I totally trust them, both to have a good idea of what will work in front of an audience and to know what we can actually pull off. I will find out more details as we go, of course, but it seems like they have ambitious pretensions, which would bother me more if it were my first show with this gang. Not that Twelfth Night was technically difficult in the way that Steps will be, but the point is that I trust them.

I don’t know how much I will write about this one in the Tohu Bohu. I will not, I think, need or want to do the kind of analytical essay about the text or structure of the play that I have done in the past. I remember Nearly Legendary Director saying that the first thing is to decide whether the words or the actions are paramount in a production; if that is the case, it’s the actions in this one. Perhaps more accurately, it’s the sounds that are important, not the sense of the words, as they accompany the actions. I haven’t written well about accents, and perhaps I will attempt to do some more here, but the kinds of things y’all Gentle Readers have been helpful with in the past are unlikely to come up. Well, we’ll see.

The show goes up in August; if you are likely to be in Central Connecticut at the time and haven’t already been the object of the big shill, let me know and I will try to arrange things. Meanwhile, I have much to do. Although this will be the third show in twenty-four months that I get shot in, it will be my first role in drag since… er, since RuPaul had a surname.

That was the last time I spoke with President Trump,,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

Should I watch the movie first? I'm going to miss most of the references to other Hitchcock films anyway, so I'm not sure how much it would help.


We are not assuming that the audience has seen the movie. I like the movie, myself, and I don't think it spoils the play at all to have seen it, but there is plenty of silly fun at the play without getting all the references, or indeed any of the references.

Thanks,
-V.


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