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CRT presents The 39 Steps as 2013 season finale


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: TRAVIS NODURFT AND SAM LEVI - From left, Jayson Shanafelt, Jayne Stevens, James Sharinghousen and Travis Nodurft in Clackamas Repertory Theatres production of The 39 Steps.

Clackamas Repertory Theatre concludes its ninth season with the Sept. 20 opening of “The 39 Steps,” a madcap farce adapted by Patrick Barlow from John Buchan’s novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film.

Barlow turned “The 39 Steps” into a farce by having four actors play all of the 151 characters in Hitchcock’s thriller. One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, who is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game of espionage and the lone actress plays three characters, leaving the remaining two actors, Clown 1 and Clown 2, to represent a 147 characters, a variety of heroes, villains, men, women, children and the occasional inanimate object.

Lightning-fast costume changes and spin-around character turns abound in a nonstop piece that plays out in a hilarious manner despite the seriousness of the original book and film. Barlow fills the script with puns, innuendoes and jabs at Hitchcock films such as “North by Northwest,” “Strangers on a Train,” “Vertigo,” “Psycho” and “Rear Window.”

Directed by Artistic Director David Smith-English, the show features Clackamas Rep Company members. Jayson Shanafelt plays Hannay, Jayne Stevens plays three characters including the German spy who is murdered, Travis Nodurft plays Clown 1 and James Sharinghousen plays Clown 2.

Pre-show lectures, “Hitchcock Talk,” with Ernie Casciato, take place an hour before performances every Saturday and two Sundays, Sept. 29 and Oct. 6.

“The 39 Steps” runs through Oct. 6. Performances take place Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. All performances are in the Niemeyer Center at Clackamas Community College. Tickets may be purchased at clackamasrep.org or by calling 503-594-6047. The low-price preview is Sept. 19.

For more information, contact CRT Managing Director Cyndy Smith-English at 503-594-3915.