It’s not Shakespeare, but “The 39 Steps” — the third show in the season’s repertory at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison – is entirely in the spirit of the “third shows” past. Like “Bombitty” (the hip-hop “Comedy of Errors”) and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” and last season’s “Around the World in Eighty Days,” the Hitchcock-based comedy has a small cast — Richard Ercole, Wesley Mann, Gabra Zackman and Jason O’Connell — called upon to play multiple roles.
Director Russell Treyz — who is new to the festival, but has worked with some of these actors before — brings an open-minded, free-wheeling vibe to the rehearsals, which seems just what’s needed in a free-wheeling and funny send-up of all things Hitchcock.
You have to pity poor Rick Ercole, though.
After what Jason O’Connell did to him in “Eighty Days” last summer — testing Ercole’s stamina with script-shredding ad-libs — it looks like the actor is in for a triple dose of the same, as Mann and Zackman are clowns of the first rank.
Speaking of, Treyz, Ercole, Zackman and HV Shakespeare poobah Terry O’Brien will be at the Jacob Burns Film Center tomorrow night to screen “The 39 Steps” and Ercole and Zackman will perform a brief scene from the show. Details at the Jacob Burns Film Center website.
For a schedule of performances of “The 39 Steps,” go to the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival website.
Here’s a quick Running Lines video I shot at a rehearsal visit.