Jewel Box Theatre's production of “The 39 Steps” is a charming and entertaining event, well worth an evening of your time. The script, a light and witty satire of classic Alfred Hitchcock film scenarios, needs sharp timing, precise and clear diction, and lots of stage and theater magic — the kind that usually requires a proscenium stage, with wings, flies and special lighting.
The Jewel Box, with its open, in-the-round construction, would not be considered an ideal setting for this show. However, director Jennifer Teel renders “The 39 Steps” beautifully. Her cast, most of whom are faced with the need to be many characters, has adapted to the needs of the piece and deliver solid and engaging performances.
As Richard Hannay, Kevin Logan is the only actor who has the luxury of not changing identities, and in return he has to carry the piece. He does this ably, bringing the audience along for an exciting ride through various scenes parodied from classic Hitchcock films.
Logan is well partnered by Crystal Ecker, who plays her several roles — femme fatale, trapped woman and ingenue — with equal deftness and grace. Richie Rayfield and Matt Barger handled the roles of the two clowns very well. The hat scene demonstrates the cleverness with which these two actors switch among several character parts with only a change of headgear and vocal styling.