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'39 Steps' offers a truly, silly and well-played journey

The production runs through April 29 at Miner's Alley Playhouse

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Actors who engage for a run of “39 Steps” really earn their wages.
The fast-moving spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film was adapted from John Buchan’s novel by Patrick Barlow. Directed with tongue-in-cheek for Miner’s Alley Playhouse by Josh Hartwell, the play races from London through assorted Scottish locations with a cast of four.

Bored British gentleman Richard Hannay, gleefully played by Casey Andree, meets up with a darkly mysterious woman, spy Annabella Schmidt, at the London Theatre and, initially, takes her home. Soon, he has a murder on his hands!

He must search for sinister types through the moors, meeting other women as he travels: Alaina Beth Reel offers an especially skilled performance in almost all of the women’s roles (Annabella, Pamela, Margaret) as Hannay moves along—always watching out for a man who is missing part of his little finger.

Some other female characters pop up in goofy appearances by Clown 1 (John Wittboldt) and Clown 2 (Sean Michael Cummings), who appear here and there, now and then, as assorted characters of official and decidedly unofficial types, on trains, in a remote hotel, at a mansion on the moors.
Other than an unruly moustache going astray, the actors' changes in character and costume were fast, clever and well-played.

Hartwell, also recognized for skill as an actor and playwright, has caught the British flavor and assembled a cast with energy and a sense of comic timing in this award-winning piece. It mixes a sense of fast-paced, old black-and-white film chase scenes with country characters and a bit of romance.

Miners Alley Playhouse presents this nimble quartet of actors with a minimum of set pieces and props. Scenic design by Elizabeth Scott-McKean and clever accompanying sound and lighting design by Jonathan Scott-McKean carry an instantly engaged audience along on a truly silly journey from London into Scotland, with Hannay pursued by sinister forces.

Quick-change costuming and projection add to the visual appeal as the audience gets into the proper mode to follow Hannay on his adventures.
If you go: “39 Steps” plays through April 29 at Miners Alley Playhouse,

1224 Washington Ave, Golden. Performances: 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets cost $15-$39, 303-935-3044, minersalley.com.

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