I was fortunate to be able to see the Denver Center Theatre Company's production of The 39 Steps at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts last night. This was also my first time to see a show in the ~250 seat Ricketson Theatre.
There were many things to like about DCTC's "The 39 Steps." The numerous characters in the story were played primarily by four cast members and I laughed as much at their switching between roles as the jokes and comedic lines. In some cases, the comedic lines involved the fact that it was a cast of four. This is not like any Alfred Hitchcock production I have ever seen. It did have a taste of the Hitchcockian suspense, but the silliness of this particular production made me laugh and smile throughout. The audience was really into the humor and antics of the cast. This version of The 39 Steps was significantly more humorous than the movie version.
Not only did I enjoy the humor injected by the ridiculousness of having only four people play multiple roles (even in some scenes with more than four characters), but I also enjoyed how scenes from the movie "The 39 Steps" were interwoven with the telling of the story. As a Hitchcock fan, I also enjoyed film and verbal references to Hitchcock classics such as North by Northwest, Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Birds, and Psycho.
I also enjoyed the Ricketson Theatre. It's a smaller theater, but I like being able to go into the theater in one of two different doors depending on which side of each row the seats are on. There was also more leg room in this theater than in some of the other DCPA theaters.
I'll admit some hesitancy in attending "The 39 Steps" because the movie is not one of my favorite Hitchcock movies (I like the above listed ones, Rear Window, and others better). I was pleasantly surprised to see this production take the best features of the film and make it even more entertaining to watch with the added humor of various types. It was a very nice surprise. This is such a fast-paced production that I never had the opportunity to day dream or nod off and was fully engaged the entire time.
Here are other reviews (all positive) of the Denver Center Theatre Company's "The 39 Steps":