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'The 39 Steps' at the BeeKay Theatre

Tehachapi Community Theatre Spotlight


May 26, 2018

Larry LaCom

Rehearsal of Alfred Hitchcock's "39 Steps" at the BeeKay Theatre.

Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps" opens at the BeeKay Theatre on June 1, bringing a trainload of laughter in this spoof of Hitchcock's 1935 thriller film. Although the script for the stage comedy is almost identical to the film script, it's in the madcap playing that the comedy springs to life. Four actors portray all the roles under the direction of Karl Schuck.

Schuck has made a speciality of comedy since joining Tehachapi Community Theatre in 2005, playing the wacky neighbor in Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park". Schuck's comedy directing has included "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," the musical "Riverwind," "Sylvia," "Sugar Bean Sisters," "The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (abridged)," and "Red Velvet Cake War," along with "My Three Angels," "Diary of Anne Frank" and "A Christmas Carol."

The stage version of "39 Steps" originated on London's West End for a nine-year run, also playing three years on New York's Broadway and an additional year off-Broadway.

The cast includes Jason Wheeler as the hapless Richard Hannay, relentlessly pursued by police and villains. Audriana Lathrop, last seen in "A Doll's House," plays three principal women: the mysterious Annabella Schmidt, the lonely Scottish crofter Margaret and the elegant Pamela Edwards. The two so-called clowns who perform all the remaining rolls, male and female, are Jonathan Hall (Vanya in last year's hit comedy) and Eric Leiss, a popular figure on both Tehachapi and Palmdale stages.

The original novel by Patrick Barlow, 1908, was one of the first thrillers ever published. Hitchcock brought the story to the big screen in one of his earliest films, featuring a chase on top of a moving train which the cast performs on stage. The play is rated by TCT as a PG event, suitable for all ages. Tickets are available at Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture and online at The BeeKay Theatre is located at 110 S. Green St. in Tehachapi.


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