COMEDY REVIVES CLASSIC
Visiting the Gold Coast this weekend is The 39 Steps, a quick and hilarious comedy featuring hundreds of characters played by four actors
I’m sitting writing this column looking out on Times Square and crowds of people standing in line at the TKTS Booth (a discount Ticket Stand) – all waiting to pick up tickets for the hottest shows on Broadway. The other window shows the highlighted names of many of the current shows; Once, It’s Only A Play, Pippin, Cabaret, Aladdin, Side Show, Matilda, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and dozens of others. Theatre is indeed alive and very well in The Big Apple, even on a chilly Sunday night! Watch this space for more info on shows seen this week. Christine Harris & HIT Productions are bringing The 39 Steps to the Gold Coast this weekend. The fast-paced, sidesplitting comedy features more than 100 characters played by four actors. Based on the 1935 Hitchcock spy thriller movie and novel by John Buchan, The 39 Steps follows handsome hero Richard Hannay as he meets a mysterious woman, who reveals a plot to smuggle military secrets out of the country. That night, she is found murdered in his apartment. It plays The Arts Centre Gold Coast on Saturday at 2pm and 7.30pm. The big news for Gold Coast theatregoers this week was the launch of the 2015 season at Gold Coast Little Theatre on Tuesday evening. Combined with the popular Drinks with the Director program for the final show for 2014, The Pajama Game, directors gave a rundown on their shows. They include (first up) Signal Driver by Patrick White, directed by Noella Johnson (opens January 24), Abigail’s Party directed by Dawn China (opens March 14), the musical revue Jerry’s Girls directed by Yours Truly (opens May 16), Noel Coward’s Private Lives directed by Roger McKenzie, (opens July 25), Dimboola directed by Dorothy Henderson (opens September 19) and Social Climbers directed by Helen Maden (opens November 21). The company’s One Act Play Season will not be held next year and an additional production will be inserted. Ballina Players will mark the 30th anniversary of its current theatre with a production of the Cole Porter and Arthur Kopit musical High Society. The play begins on the wedding eve of Long Island socialite Tracy Samantha Lord. Her fiancé George is reliable but deadly dull. Tracy is shaken by the uninvited arrival of her ex-husband Dexter in his yacht True Love, which she had designed. Dexter is determined to sabotage the wedding. In a champagnefuelled evening, Tracy tries to make a decision. Additional mayhem involving Tracy’s estranged parents adds to the confusion. The theme song High Society recurs throughout the story and comments on the action. The musical is based on The Philadelphia Story, the 1940 film which starred Kathryn Hepburn as the bride, Cary Grant as Dexter and Jimmy Stuart as Mike. A 1956 musical version followed. High Society is directed by Paul Belsham and Warwick Binney and will be staged at the Players Theatre from November 14 to December 6. The opening night will be a special event, with pre-show champagne and finger food. ballinaplayers.com.au The Arts Centre Gold Coast will hold its 2015 program launch on November 12. It’s an invitation-only event and the entire year’s programs will be revealed at the time. Watch this space! Other productions on the horizon include Farndale Avenue … Christmas Carol, directed by veteran Joan Stalker Brown and opening at Tamborine Mountain (Zamia Theatre) on November 7; Tugun Theatre Company and Jillian Rawlings will present Ray Cooney’s farce It Runs in the Family from November 14 and director Dawn China opens Five Women Wearing the Same Dress at Javeenbah Theatre on November 21. Bookings are open now, visit the individual theatre’s websites for details.
Mike Smith and Anna Burgess star in
The 39 Steps,
based on the Hitchcock spy thriller movie.