39 STEPS COHORT REVIEW

“Sunday Matinee…the website said the seats were Limited but the rest week is Festival of New Theatre so we took our chances and got seats in the Orchestra left. Not seats I would have picked out myself but not too many bad seats at GEVA. And…tho we missed the grand toss in the second act we did see the results and we had a perfectly delightful time in those seats.

The performance really began for us when we went to the Prologue. We nearly always go to these discussions. Some are better than others but Teresa was among the best. She was friendly and engaging while giving us great information (more than just what is printed in the playbill!) and some insights into what to watch for in the play. This added substantially to our enjoyment of the afternoon. Tho I must say we missed one of the Hitchcock cameos….! Still trying to figure out where it was…one in the paper, one on the shadow screen (thanks Aaron!) but…number three went by and we missed it.

It was such fun to see the play straight-through. Well deserved applause when the cops made it through the rear window! It was the first time I saw the second act with all the costumes and props and what a hoot! When Joel entered with his kilt I thought I had seen it all….but then he was the pipe band and the best part…the sheep herd. Funny enough when he was on his knees, but so much better as he stood up and twirled around! Aaron’s women were spot on…as were his pratfalls and Mr Memory trance. Monica and John made the best in-again-out-again couples with so much in their facial expressions and falls.

The crew – in black – not really there, right? Excellent, excellent job even getting all the birds down and picked up all in the dark. So glad the actors called them out for the final bows…after all, how else could the evil professor have been shot (4 actors?)

And the set was just exactly right. All of the scenes made sense. Incredible that you could even imagine how to do this on stage and then create doors that could bang and move and look amazing at the same time. And…as Teresa had suggested the lighting design took on particular significance with the shadows and drawing our attention to bits…..great spots.

I usually pay attention to sound design because our son began his theatre career as a sound designer and I think that directors often give these talented artists short shrift. Sound really can make a difference for the audience enjoyment. But..short shrift certainly did not happen with this play as it was used to excellent effect. Something that Teresa again suggested we look for as we watched.

So thanks go to everyone for a wonderful production and I do want to thank Sean again for the critical role he played in pulling all these parts together into a cohesive whole. Slap-stick and farce are great when they work but when they don’t it can be painful to watch. It has to be said that the Director has to take the fall when it doesn’t work and so must get an acknowledgement when it does and this one works so very, very well. From the casting to selecting the design staff to the rehearsal process, Sean did a great job. And he was lucky to have the great GEVA staff available to make his vision come to fruition.

Great to see. Great to experience. Thanks to GEVA for the Cohort program. I was a great experience for me and I’ll miss not seeing other plays develop before I see them. However, as I said in an earlier post, I watch theatre differently as a result so thanks and thanks again.” – Betti Abbas

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