Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play
By Joe Landry
Directed by Tom Larkin
Breakthrough Theater, Winter Park FL
Even a master like Alfred Hitchcock can let stuff slip in to the public domain, and writer Joe Landry latched onto his slips and turned them into another evening of vintage radio just like he did with “It’s a Wonderful Life.” As air time approaches Stage Manger (Kimberly Weld) calls the cast to stations and velvet voiced announcer Freddie Fillmore (John Segers) introduces them to the studio audience. An applause sign flashes, some of us notice it and clap guiltily at odd moments in the show. There are three stories woven together tonight: In “The Lodger” a couple rents a room to a serial killer, “Sabotage” introduces a terrorist who wimps out on a mission and kills someone he cares about, and “39 Steps” shows a young man meeting a mysterious woman and nearly dying for his troubles to prevent a gibberish equation from falling into enemy hands.
I’ll leave you to experience the set up and resolution and instead talk about the on air antics. I’d only confuse all of us explaining how Marcie Schwalm played Lana Sherwood who played Mrs. Bunting. (She was an excellent Mrs. Bunting, a little desperate and a little cowed and very British Middle Class, but with but the accent). Alex Carroll did “Kip Campbell” got all the news boy rolls while Rachel Comeau (Lucy Drayton) was wispy and vampish and a bit of the femme fatale. This was Blain Handley’s second stage show locally; he knows how to handle a pipe and still looks a bit like a younger Hugh Heffner minus his bunnies. Local stalwart Tara Corless as Connie Cassidy filled one of her signature 1940′s bombshell roles, and Logan Curran (Johnny “Jolly” Rogers) was truly creepy as the serial killer. Lurking off to one side was Erik Branch as Ivor Montague, Band Leader while Bill Horine juggled sound effects way up stage.
While everyone made good their character’s roles, there was curious lack of tension in these Hitchcock numbers. Perhaps the shadows weren’t dark enough, the timing not spooky enough, or the stories to predictable, but go here for the fun of that nearly lost fantasy of voices in the dark coming out of a glowing box, not the promise of a nail biting thriller.
For more information, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com or look them up on Facebook.