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‘The 39 Steps’ is hysterical, unique

The actors in “The 39 Steps” takes their places for the first scene of the production during a rehearsal. The show ran Nov. 13, 14 and 15, and was completely sold out at the Nov. 14 performance. PHOTO / NYSSA QIAO

The actors in “The 39 Steps” takes their places for the first scene of the production during a rehearsal. The show ran Nov. 13, 14 and 15, and was completely sold out at the Nov. 14 performance. PHOTO / NYSSA QIAO

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I must admit that I was very skeptical when I first heard the concept for “The 39 Steps.” The idea of nineteen actors switching off characters and playing set pieces just seemed like it would end in a confusing train wreck. However, I was proved entirely wrong. “The 39 Steps” is the best CHS production I’ve ever seen, and I want to commend director Jim Peterson for taking a risk in choosing this show and using such a unique method to bring the show to life. “The 39 Steps” is about a man named Richard Hanney, who ends up with a murder charge after meeting a mysterious foreign woman. He soon discovers that the only way to clear his name is to uncover the secret of  spy organization “The 39 Steps” before vital information can be smuggled out of the country.

All of the actors in the company did an excellent job, but I thought junior Blaine McBroom, junior Jessie Ballard and senior Christian Viktrup really stood out. McBroom really made the show in some parts, particularly the scene where he was playing Pamela (a traditionally female role). He was clearly not afraid to take risks and branch out with his acting, which worked really well with this unique risk-taking show. Ballard was very funny and played most of the comically melodramatic parts. It was clear that she understood the humor of the show and her delivery was spot-on. Viktrup was probably the best at portraying Hanney, the lead character, who wasn’t always as comical, but Viktrup’s comic ability shone through when he portrayed one of the two old men in the second act. I was truly impressed by the entire cast, but these few seemed to shine the most in this performance.

What I really loved about this show was how incredibly intricate it was. I could tell that each scene had been blocked extremely carefully and rehearsed often, and it really paid off. If this difficult show had been put together sloppily, it would have been a disaster, but the cast and directors clearly understood the risks and put forth a lot of effort to make the show worth watching, and it ended up being a hysterical show that the entire audience seemed to love. This was one of the funniest shows I have seen in a long time, and the risk-taking involved in putting together this production definitely paid off.

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