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Community news: Stage company ascends 'The 39 Steps'; Collecting coats for veterans; Poker and bingo night fundraiser

January 08, 2013|By Joyce Rudolph
  • Performers with the St. Francis Stage Company in a scene from "The 39 Steps" are, from left, Jim Roope, Daniel Roebuck, Chenoa Mitsui and Chris Kenney.
Performers with the St. Francis Stage Company in a scene… (Photo by Joyce Rudolph )

The St. Francis Stage Company is challenging its creative abilities in acting and set design with Alfred Hitchcock's thriller “The 39 Steps,” opening at 8 p.m. Friday and continuing for two weekends in the social hall of St. Francis Xavier Church.

Co-Director Jesse J. Adams saw the award-winning production on Broadway and thought it would be a perfect fit for the sixth annual production that raises funds for the church and school, he said.

What makes this play fun is the producers are encouraged to use their imagination to interpret the script any way they want.

It is a unique concept, Adams said, because usually scripts are very structured.

It's about a man who is not happy with his life and finds himself amid a conspiracy spy story that takes him on a journey throughout the United Kingdom.

Playing the lead and serving as co-director is professional actor Daniel Roebuck, who appeared on TV's “Matlock” for three seasons and recently has been on “Glee” and “NCIS.” Others starring are Chenoa Mitsui, Jim Roope and Chris Kenney.

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The play has some 30 short scenes, and each actor except Roebuck changes into a different character for each scene. They portray more than 100 characters throughout so it makes for fast costume changes that add to the hilarity — like men changing into women's costumes. There are also a lot of allusions to Hitchcock films.

They have a team creating set pieces and lighting and special effects because the play takes place in numerous locations, which is new to the company because past productions have always taken place in one room.

Set designers used their imagination in the modes of transportation, specifically the train and car, Roebuck said.

He likened the comedy to watching Monty Python do drama.

“It should be ridiculously funny!” Roebuck said.

Tickets are $15 and a senior special $10 matinee is on Jan. 20. For information, call (818) 504-4400. The church is at 3801 Scott Road.


Former Bob Hope writer visits guild

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Guild will have Bob Hope's comedy writer Gene Parret as the guest speaker at today's meeting held at the medical center.

Parret worked on Hope's writing staff for 28 years, from 1969 until the comic's retirement, many of those years as Hope's head writer.

He also wrote for all of Hope's personal appearances and TV specials as well as traveling with Hope and his troupe to the war zones.

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