Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Flowertown Players Salute A Cultural Icon Of Mystery Thrillers With Their Production of "The 39 Steps"

It was Colonel Mustard, with the candlestick, in the billiard room. I spent many hours during my youth solving by deduction the mystery of which three cards containing the name, the weapon, and the room were slid into the secret envelope. The game was Clue, originally published by a game company called Parker Brothers. Among family members and friends I had become somewhat of a sleuth, in the likeness of Sherlock Holmes. An important key to success was to pay close attention to what your opponents were doing to assist you in your room to room search. Often, what solutions they posed was a bonus clue for you. Misdirection was always a strategic ploy. The one factor you had least control of was the roll of the dice. The higher the roll, the quicker you moved around the board. The quicker you moved from room to room, the more clues you acquired.

When I wasn't playing Clue, I was watching a show that featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. Time magazine named this show one of "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME". The originator of this television series also produced some of my favorite movies such as the The Rear Window, The Birds, and a delightfully amusing dark comedy The Trouble With Harry. Harry just didn't want to go away, even after he was found dead by a little boy played by Jerry Mathers. The mystery was to solve the perplexing question of "Who did it." There were three possible suspects who incriminated themselves. The three banded together along with a local artist to conceal Harry's body from the authorities while they tried to figure out who really did it, or maybe they all had a hand in his demise.
This film director and producer became a cultural icon and his silhouette was easily recognizable as a trademark. The caricature drawing, composed of just nine strokes, was his own creation. He made brief cameo appearances in his movies designed to engage you with the challenge of spotting him. Many of his movies employed the plot device known as a "MacGuffin". He did more than any director to shape modern cinema. He is described as the most influential filmmaker of all time and widely regarded as one of cinema's most significant artists. All this information should have easily clued you the person is Alfred Hitchcock and the show-Alfred Hitchcock Presents. This September 20th his genius is coming to Summerville in the form of a stage performance called The 39 Steps adapted from the movie of the same name.

The original movie, filmed in 1935, was a British thriller rife with murder and mystery. The film opens at a London theater where "Mr Memory" is performing. Shots are fired. There is panic in the theater. Richard Hannay, attending the show, finds himself unexpectedly confronted by a frightened Annabella Smith. Annabella convinces Richard to take her to his home. She tells him she is a spy in danger from assassins and mentions the "39 steps". Later, Annabella bursts into Richard's bedroom fatally stabbed in the back. Richard flees on the advice of Annabella with a map she was holding and soon finds out he is accused of her murder. The chase begins and the plot thickens.
The stage is being set for "The 39 Steps"
The Flowertown Players at the James F. Dean Theatre have incorporated another component to The 39 Steps. Their presentation will add the element of comedy in the form of a parady. Exactly how they pull that off, you will have to buy a ticket to find out. One thing is for sure, it will be entertaining. The four main actors will be playing many different characters. Like the silent movies of a bygone era, piano music will accompany the action as it unfolds on stage. It contains complicated plot lines, so complete attention is a necessity.
Come and see what all the hats are about
Show times for The 39 Steps will be September 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 at 8:00 pm and September 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 2:00 pm. Ticket prices are $25. The cast consists of Richard: Patrick Hawkins, Annabelle/Pamela: Joanna Cresella, Margaret: Darcy Herlihy, Clown: Chad Estel, Clown: Deacan Gerard. Stage Hands: Keely Eastwood, Olivia Bolt, Jackie Gonda, Heather Pallay. Get your tickets before they mysteriously disappear.

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