"I am going to tell you something unhealthy."

That line had me rolling in the aisles.

Saw a local theater production of the farcical take on Hitchcock's  The 39 Steps. Hardworking group of four who play dozens of parts in this spy thriller. Sitting center stage, second row, looking up at the frenzied performers,  seeing the details - a crooked hem, a hanging thread - I realized that I was accustomed to watching perfect actors.

Fellow playing the lead has to run from planes, like Cary Grant in North by Northwest. Somehow it was jarring to see him actually perspire. My beloved cinematic performers rarely ever sweat.

It was then that I began to enjoy these hard-working thespians, despite their jokes falling flat, and my nose being assaulted with London and Highland "fog" from their dry ice machine.  They worked their tails off for a twitter of laughter here and a bit of applause there. I couldn't hack it in that business. When my jokes fail I'm mortified and don't ever want to raise my voice in humor again (until the next time a one-liner presents itself and then I reenter the whole cycle).

Wasn't it Bette Davis who said that acting should appear as if you're working a little? It should appear a little real? The obvious hard work and frailties certainly helped me to appreciate this play.

I adore Grace Kelly's perfectly coiffed hair in films, but the sad little blonde mop precariously perched on the lady's head in 39 Steps engaged me a little more - I waited for it to fall off.


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"Java's Journey: A really fun, informative well-written blog that explores all of the things - and I mean all - I love about classic films."-- Flick Chick of A Person In The Dark Email: java-rush@hotmail.com


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