Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Roving Pittsburgher Report, "39 Steps" is Non-Stop Hilarity!

"39 Steps is Non-Stop Hilarity."

by Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith

If you want side splitting laugh a minute entertainment then see Tony Award Winning Hit Comedy thriller, "39 Steps" at the Cabaret Theater.  What an uproarious experience in minimalistic stage effects with maximum hilarity. Four players take you through the twists and turns of a comedic plot using 1940's or Mel Brooks type music spots to hi-light the intense "drama."  Sorry, no drama just madcap hysteria. 

It's interesting to note that everything old is new again as the original globe theater had no curtain to rise and fall between scenes and 39 Steps was not much different.  The Cabaret Curtain fell possibly once during intermission.   In Shakespeare's time a wall and a door were used to signify comings and goings, in this slapstick comedy there was no wall, just a door. For comings and goings and quick changes of characters costumes and being able to actually see some of that going on, added to the comedic impact of the actors.

Allan Snyder and Luke Halferty, photo:  Matt Polk

There is no lack of talent either on the part of the actors, Quinn Patrick Shannon and Allan Snyder are the perfect clowning partners reminiscent of old time comedy such as the Keystone cops and Abbot and Costello playing multiple parts of spies, law enforcement and husband and wife (yes wife) villains and innkeepers.  Please don't discount the element of outrageous drag in this play.  Did I say 39 Steps has something for everyone? And it' s hard to believe that with all this hilarity the show could be G rated, not even PG.

The femme fatale of the play, Megan Pickrell also moves easily between three parts from the manipulative spy to the farmer's wife and the aloof career woman. On the other hand Richard.  Luke Halferty as Richard Hannay only plays one part through multiple assumed identities that allows for everything from comedy to drama and slow motion silent film effects.

Luke Halferty and Quinn Patrick Shannon, photo by Archie Carpenter

The Director Guy Stroman deserves huge commendation for a great work of comedic art.  This is also the one time that I must mention the technical side of the show and all deserve equal kudos.  Scenic Desinger Tony Ferrieri, loved "the car and its lights."  Lighting Designer, Andrew David Ostrowski, were you responsible for the dancing stick puppets?  Costume Designer Stephanie Shaw, what genius in designing quick changes for comedic transition of characters!  Sound Designer Bob Bollman's precision with sounds at the mention of "39 Steps" and the scenes behind the opening and closing of doors!  And not to be left out Production Stage Manager Tim Brady!  All I can say is, "wow." 

The cast, photo by Archie Carpenter

Enough! Enough, I could write for hours about this play.  This reviewer personally thinks it is the best play that the CLO has done at the Cabaret.  Just go see it, it runs thru August 14, 2016.  And bring the out of town visiting relatives, they will love it too.

Joanne Quinn-Smith, Award winning podcaster, blogger, author and internet radio and TV network editor and publisher. Joanne is the owner and CEO, Creative Energy Officer, of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, a successful Pittsburgh-based marketing company. Joanne is internationally known as the “Get Your Google On” Gal. But better known as Techno Granny™ to over one million accumulated online listeners worldwide. Joanne has created a revolutionary online NEW MEDIA platform in Internet broadcasting, blogging and other social media participation. JQS is the online publisher of, an online community magazine to disseminate the Positive News for Positive Pittsburghers. PPL Mag is Pittsburgh’s First Internet radio and TV network with syndicated channels and online radio and TV capabilities. 

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