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Orlando Sentinel Review of the 39 Steps

Although it took a while for me to find it (or for them to appropirately post it), the Orlando Sentinel also reviewed The 39 Steps during Fringe.

Because I know they move things around, I have decided to post the review in its entirety:

By Tod Caviness, Orlando Sentinel Entertainment Columnist

4:50 p.m. EDT, May 2, 2013

First off, this isn’t the “39 Steps” you’re thinking of – not quite. Yes, Invisible Frisbee Productions’ inventive comedy riffs on the Alfred Hitchcock thriller. Yes, it’s still four actors playing the roles of the hapless everyman Richard Hannay and the multiple spies he becomes entangled with. But this time, Hannay may be escaping peril in Will’s Pub instead of London. The settings, professions and event the actors’ roles depend on the cues the audience gives to the cast, by way of a “survey” taken before the show. There’s also a bit of whiz-bang technology involved: You can text your vote for one crucial setting, and watch the votes being tallied in real time on a screen. (If your phone works, anyway – mine didn’t have service in the well-insulated Pink venue.)

Does all this improv spice add up to a better “39 Steps”? Potentially. There were more chuckles than belly-laughs in the show I saw, though I’m a particular fan of the deadpan highlights that SAK Comedy Lab regulars Megan Borkes and Max Hilend showed. If the cast can actually use the new twists to add some humor, then this is one improv show well worth taking a chance on for the concept alone.

60 mins. Rated G. Pink venue.

The 39 Steps

Richard Hannay, who appears ordinary, is drawn against his best judgement into a mystery. The police and the establishment are chasing him. A long-form improvised spy thriller based on the classic John Buchan novel, it's a different conspiracy every night. Hannay, the original spy hero; only his razor wit and clues from a dead spy will get him through this.