A farce is a comedy on steroids.
Farce has all the qualities of good comedic writing and funny jokes that blend together in the soup of successful comedy; but to that cooking pot of creative potentiality, farce adds the peppery seasonings of freshness, fun, frenzy – and fantastic timing.
If you would like to see a superb example of the best that farce can be, bring your family to attend SCRT’s most recently débuted summer production, Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps. All the frenzied happenings on stage take place at breakneck speed and without a hitch as this truly fantastic farcical frolic of murder and mayhem unfolds to the accompaniment of hilarious audience laughter.
The story is really just a coat rack to hang the humor on.
Richard Hannay, (Adam Marcantoni) of the pencil thin mustache and uncanny ability to wiggle out of any situation, is bored in his London apartment, so he goes to the theatre. There he meets a gorgeous gal Annabella Schmidt (Kayla Ryan Walsh) who attracts unwanted attention after watching the performance of Mr. Memory (Patrick Monaghan) by shooting off a gun in the lobby.
Annabella begs successfully to accompany Hannay to his London flat, where she turns up dead, stabbed in the back. This leads to Hannay traveling by train all over England and Scotland, avoiding being arrested as a murderer and bumping into the world of international espionage through a secret society called The 39 Steps.
Listed as clowns in the program, Linnea Scott and Patrick Monaghan rapidly transform into constables, spies, innkeepers, rural sheepherders and a score of other characters with the flip of a cape or the tip of a conveniently placed helmet or hat. Kayla also morphs into two other women, Pamela and Margaret. The only character that remains himself throughout is Marcantoni as Richard Hannay.
Special ingredients that flavor this mayhem on the SCRT stage are the integration of the set, sound and lighting into perfect harmony with the humor of the moment. Crisply directed by Shawn Hann, with a cast literally bubbling over with comedic talent, the magic that makes it all believable and roaringly laughable is the actors’ ability to paint pictures in the audience’s imagination.
Case in point: the scene in which their (imaginary) train is crossing the (imaginary) trestle above the (imaginary) Firth of Forth. The actors’ ability to portray terrified passengers clinging to the outside of the train thousands of feet above the sea below is so cleverly executed that it has the capability of giving audience members vertigo.
In addition to the significant talents of the specialty directors (Lighting and scenic designer G. Austin Allen and Technical Director Nathan Segers) and Production Stage Manager Andie Burns with assistant Lizzy Gordon and Costume Designer Nicole M. Harrison) there is one other special seasoning of this specially savory stew. It is the crazy amazing talents of the four actors dominating the stage of this fantastically funny farce.
The 39 Steps could well be the funniest farce to ever make the Famous Performing Arts Theatre rock with laughter.
Don’t miss it! You will be able to enjoy it only one more time at 7:30 p.m. on the evening of Friday, August 16.
For tickets and information call 719-846-4765 or go online at www.scrtheatre.com