SRO Theater Company returns with Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” – A Review
I was thrilled to receive notice that, “After a long hiatus, SRO is bringing live theater back to Yelm” with a hilarious parody spy thriller based on the classic 1935 Alfred Hitchcock directed film! On Thursday, November 4th, I attended the Dress Rehearsal. The following is my review.
SRO’s current, temporary location
The last SRO show in Yelm was “Calendar Girls” in March 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning. That performance was held at the Wellspring Wellness Center after The Triad Theater’s closure, under the Direction of Dawn Emilia Young, who was in the audience last night as not only a proud SRO observer, yet was beaming with her husband and newborn son.
To return to the theater location in the Outpost Church, former site of the Triad Theater and Drew Harvey Theater, was a thrill in itself. To enter the facility and see how the church changed, modernized and updated the interior was remarkable. The lighting, flooring and bright entry were all quite a welcome change, as were the restroom updates. The seats are on now chairs, socially distanced throughout the main hall. The stage area has been greatly reduced, however the play utilized adjacent floor space cleverly de-marking the scene changes. The site has an open, warm, welcoming feeling. SRO Board Member Dave Champagne presented a heartfelt opening welcome and explanation on SRO’s upcoming plans, including mentioning potentials for a future permanent locale. He said the church pastor approached him offering this facility as a temporary place for SRO to return post-pandemic, because he had heard so many positive comments about the history of community theater in this structure.
SRO’s production of The 39 Steps
SRO’s production of The 39 Steps stars Yelm stage veterans Drew Doyle, Hannah Longshore, Kellie Petersen, Dave Champagne. Taylor Hergert served as Stage Manager and had a cameo performance role. The cast each plays multiple characters in carefully choreographed scene/stage changes, requiring challenging precision. The show is under the Direction of Dale Sharp, with clear attention to detail.
Dave Champagne told the Yelm Blogger this play provided the perfect forum for the cast and crew to reengage their stage prowess after more than a year and a half on hiatus. With 4 cast members each taking on multiple roles, only a talented group of performers and stage hands, and under a proficient director could pull this off admirably, and admirably they did!
I am always amazed at the creativity utilized to craft the sets, props and multiple costumes, and this performance did not disappoint. SRO theater goers have repeatedly seen the broad ranging talents of Drew Doyle, Hannah Longshore, Kellie Petersen, Dave Champagne, however this production required an even a broader stretch of their talents, which they pulled off seemingly effortlessly, though the 2 Acts required a major effort on their parts. Doyle was formerly in Southern California theater productions and brought his professional edge to this SRO stage, too, first reviewed here in 2017. Champagne is the wide-ranging and consummate thespian. He and and Petersen were a joy to watch play off each other in almost every scene. Petersen’s depiction of Mr. Memory was truly priceless, her facial expressions so colorful. In portraying Mrs. Jordan, Petersen’s costume look, manner and performance reminded me of Helen Mirren. And Hannah Longshore continues to show an evolution of her depth with each SRO production, as she did in 2 prominent roles here. I find watching her nuances in each expanded dimension delightful to observe.
Wonderful local entertainment before the holidays begin!
THE 39 STEPS
Adapted by Patrick Barlow
From the novel by John Buchan
From the movie by Alfred Hitchcock
Licensed by ITV Global Entertainment Limited
And an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon
Performed LIVE at the Outpost Church, 102 E Yelm Ave, Yelm, WA 98597
(the former site of the Triad Theater and Drew Harvey Theater)
“The 39 Steps” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com
DIRECTED BY: Dale Sharp
STAGE MANAGED BY: Taylor Hergert
STARRING: Drew Doyle, Hannah Longshore, Kellie Petersen, Dave Champagne, & Taylor Hergert
Friday, November 5th at 7:30pm
Saturday, November 6th at 7:30pm
Sunday, November 7th at 3pm
Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm
Saturday, November 13th at 7:30pm
Sunday, November 14th at 3pm
Friday, November 19th at 7:30pm
Saturday, November 20th at 7:30pm
Sunday, November 21st at 3pm
General Admission: $20 Military/Senior/Student: $15