“THE 39 STEPS” A SMASH HIT AT SHALHEVET

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Shalhevet High School’s Drama program mounted a hilarious production of “THE 39 STEPS”, Patrick Barlow’s Tony award-winning comic spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s film noir masterpiece. Five students played over a hundred roles, demonstrating astonishing range as performers.

Junior David Lorell played the dashing, ironic hero, Richard Hannay, who is mistakenly drawn into an international espionage ring, falsely accused of murder, and forced to go on the run. Lorell’s intelligence and comic timing were at a professional level – he had an uncanny ability to juggle the lighting quick scene and mood changes with confidence and charisma. Sara Sobolev, as an innocent Scottish girl and Hannay’s sophisticated love interest, Pamela, was an excellent complement to Lorell, showing strength, intelligence, and humor throughout.

Freshman Micha Thau demonstrated great range as a comedic actor. He spun on a dime from cockney showman to wacky housekeeper to the hilariously evil Professor Jordan, and many other characters in between. Akiva Reuveni brought down the house as a gruff Scottish farmer and the elegant but evil Mrs. Jordan. His portrayal of the cockney Mr. Memory, who innocently helps the spies by memorizing a secret formula, was both funny and moving. Annie Asch was pitch-perfect in her role as the glamorous spy Annabella Smith, and raucously funny as an Emily Litella-like old lady, a hard-nosed Sherriff, and an overly-friendly Scottish hotelier bent on protecting Hannay and Pamela.

Shalhevet’s Drama Program Director, Ms. Emily Chase, is a professional theater director and actress who has worked at South Coast Rep, the Mark Taper Forum, the Antaeus Company, A Noise Within, and many other highly-regarded theaters. Working with award-winnning lighting, set, and sound designers, she created a tightly-choreographed comedic thriller that echoed the lighting and soundtracks of old Hollywood movies, and kept audiences laughing uproariously.