Sunday, April 14, 2013

Did you know you could lose up to one pound of belly fat just attending a show directed by Bob Wells? It’s true. The belly laughs come so fast and furious you won’t need those green Diet coffee beans left over from St. Paddy’s Day or that personal trainer who’s such a tease. And if you see the show multiple times you may be featured in the lobby in semi nude before and after fotos, too! Who knew?
But I digress …
The 39 Steps
Town Hall Arts: 4/12 – 5/5

     Das ist der happy maker!  It vill tickle you down to your toesies und make you crazy mit gigglin.’ Bob Vells has given us reason to screamin’ mit laughter und hysterical makes us leavin’ us pantin’ und yukkin’ it up in der aisles.  It’s like a big triple helpin’ of Laughter Ale mit reason to lick-den steinen.  But I digress…  

     Bob Wells, you are a theatrical treasure! You have blessed Denver audiences with some of the most outstanding productions ever to have been seen in the Mile High Titty. And this one is pure theatre magic!

     It has gotten to the point that ads for theatre in this town should list the director above the title the way movies did back in the sixties. And that is because of your direction, Mr. Wells. There are also several others in this town who aspire to ascend to your way high upness! They would do well to model your method and madness. Your directorial treatment of this send-up of Alfred Hitchcock's movie is breathtaking.
     James O’Hagan Murphy, who just finished an SRO tour de force as RFK at Vintage Theatre has been cast as the matinee idol leading man in “The 39 Steps.” Whether it’s Torvald Helmer in The Byers-Evans House Theatre’s production of “A Doll’s House”, “RFK” at Vintage, or as the Hitch-cocky-an hero of Town Hall’s “The 39 Steps” one has come to know what outstanding work we will get from this artist.  Bravo!
Left to right: Eric Mather, MacKenzie Paulsen, James O'Hagen-Murphy and Seth Maisel

      Eric Mather is quite simply the maestro of funny bone demolition.  In this show, which does for Hitchcock what Mel Brooks did for Frankenstein, Mather knocks us out with physical comedy that is outrageously well done. Each and all of the many characters he portrays are stupefyingly funny.
      Seth Maisel unleashes a panoply  (see dictionary) of devastatingly funny idiotic characters that even includes a bit of an homage to Marty Feldman (the eyes have it!) in one very funny (I’m not telling!) Scottish scene.
      Mackenzie Paulsen is a stunning beauty with magnificent stage presence and dynamic theatrical instincts. Until now this reviewer had not seen her amazing work. From here on out I will be searching for her name in every program. And so should you, dear reader! Brava!
Seth Allison’s evocative lighting, Lori Worthman’s  ingeniously appointed revolving set,  Lori Worthman’s vintage costumes and John Rivera’s superb sound design  are all  spot on  in Wells’ production.
      The main suspense here is not so Hitchcockian however. It’s more about whether or not the old guy sitting next to you will pop his suspenders because his bowl full of jelly is bouncing so hard from the laughter. Well, I guess there is also the suspense of wondering whether Wells and company can make you laugh any harder than they have up until the moment at which you are trying to drag your sorry ass up off the floor and back into the theatre seat!
      In case you missed something… I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Town Hall’s production opens April 12 and runs through May 5, 2013. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. (& 2:00 p.m. on 4/27) & Sundays at 2 p.m. (& 6:30 p.m. on 4/21).
Ticket Information:
Reserved seat tickets are currently on sale, priced $20.00-$40.00 at the Town Hall Arts Center box office, 303-794- 2787 ext. 5 (Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. to Noon/ 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday Noon to 4 p.m. and 1 Hour prior to Shows) or on-line at . In a continuing effort to make plays at Town Hall Arts Center accessible to all, ten value seats at $10 each will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis one- hour prior to each published curtain time.Marlowe''s Musings

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