Repertory Philippines’ ‘The 39 Steps’ which opens today at Greenbelt One’s Onstage promises to be an entertaining fourth directorial job of Ana Abad Santos. After watching it during the press preview last night, one can expect a different theater experience with only four main characters that the director personally handpicked and breathed into the roles given to them with ease and excellence.
Imagine putting together four equally talented actors onstage, the likes of Michael Williams (Richard Hannay), Liza Infante-Robinson (as the blond Anabella Schmidt, Pamela and Margaret), Rem Zamora and Julienne Mendoza as the clowns.
Like in any Alfred Hitchcocks’s works, ‘The 39 Steps’, a 1935-film he made and is considered to be as one of his best films in his early days in filmmaking—is indeed a ‘bold’ but a successful attempt for Santos’s to recreate and incorporate in the scenes of this latest Repertory production.
When asked if she had a hard time in choosing the actors to portray the characters in the play, she beams with smiles and says, “I’m just ‘too’ lucky to have these four actors work together again onstage after a long time.”
All four actors, Williams, Infante-Robinson, Zamora and Mendoza were like having a good time in this ‘reunion of sorts’ performance of theirs.
Williams said, “Repertory is always my home and coming back to perform is challenging especially with all the ‘running’ in the play.”
Infante-Robinson on the other hand, was reluctant in doing a ‘comeback’ onstage since she had an 11-year hiatus, but because it was Ana who gets to direct the play she agreed to doing it, “I knew she would not let me go on stage if I was not ready. Having Michael as a scene partner is also incredibly helpful because he is mindful of my back problems and we make sure that we don't do anything to further injure it. I also read the script and thought it was so funny and I felt that I could take on the challenge of creating these three characters.”
The two zany characters of Rem Zamora and Julienne Mendoza did a lot of challenging, multiple roles and this is something the viewers would look forward to watching the presentation.
From the novel ‘The Thirty-nine Steps’ by John Buchan, which Hitchcock adapted into a film that featured Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll, (loosely-based, actually), it was challenge and was excited at the same time for Ana, “I love the idea of treating the play like a movie.”
Santos’s favorite scene, the third one, showing Anabella and Richard in a ‘noir feel’ amidst such comical act—is worth catching and considered to be the best part as well. Dexter Santos did great choreograph for this play. The sets were all amazingly done by Dennis Lagdameo so as the costume design by Raven Ong. Aside from the versatility of the actors’ acting, what made ‘The 39 Steps’ truly successful is the collaboration of lights and sounds by John Batalla and Jethro Joaquin.
The play has a promo, which the theatergoers might just attract them to flocking into Greenbelt’s Onstage, to know more about it, click here!
‘The 39 Steps’ will run from March 4th till the 20th.with 8pm shows on Fridays and Saturdays, while 3:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. For tickets please contact, (632) 571-6926.