By Jane Lester
Playhouse 51 opened Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play last weekend to much success — and happiness from the cast and crew that they finally got to put this show in front of an audience.
It was originally scheduled for last June but had to be postponed. If you missed it, you have three more chances to see this trilogy based on early Alfred Hitchcock thrillers — this Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 2.
Many who attended the show were impressed with the talented and versatile cast, many of whom performed with a variety of accents from cockney and lower class British to the upper crust and over to Scottish, German, and American. OK, maybe that’s not an accent. Each one in the cast also did an excellent job of performing a variety of characters from evil, frightening serial killers to sweet, innocent heroines.
Also of interest were the many innovative sound effects used to depict a 1946 radio broadcast. A favorite scene seemed to be a clandestine meeting at the zoo by two villains, punctuated by animal sounds you expect at a zoo. Who knew a lion would come out of a Mason jar? Not to mention monkeys, elephants, an assortment of birds, and even a fish (?)! When you’re not watching the actors carrying the plot forward at the microphones, it is interesting to watch all the activity at the sound effects table. There are explosions, trains, automobiles and other worthwhile sounds coming from unusual devices. The show is a mixture of comedy and drama, sometimes simultaneously.
So, if you want some good hometown entertainment this weekend, go see Vintage Hitchcock at Harvell Civic Center, 8077 Wilkinsville Road. Tickets are $12 Adults, $10 Seniors, Students, and Military. If you picked up a Playhouse 51 fan at Goat Days, you can present it at the box office for $2 off your ticket price. For a group discount, call the Playhouse 51 message line at 872-7170 for a callback.
You also still have time to purchase Playhouse 51 season tickets which you can use for any of the shows this season. That includes The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in December, Catch Me If You Can in March, and Drinking Habits in June.
The Lion is already in rehearsal for what promises to be an exciting holiday show. Auditions were held two weeks ago with a turnout of more than 40 people. Save a date for that one December 4, 5, 6, 25, 26, & 27. Volunteers are still needed to help with set, costumes, battle armor, and props. Call and leave your name at 872-7170 to volunteer.
Until next time, remember Playhouse 51 meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Harvell Civic Center and all are welcome to come. As members of the group always say: “Come play with us!”