Thursday, June 17, 2021

39 Steps presented by Inspire Theatre

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and the result will be The 39 Steps, a fast-paced farce packed with nonstop laughs, 150 characters, an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance.

Inspire Theatre is returning to in-person performances with an outdoor presentation of John Buchan's adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's film, All 29 scenes are played on a single-set stage and all of the characters are played by a four-plus person cast. Michael Whitcher of Westland plays the lead, Richard Hannay, while Sara Overwater of Livonia fills the parts of the three beautiful women - Anabella, Pamela, and Margaret.

The other two cast members, John Thiede of Romulus and Dave Zolotarchuk of Ypsilanti, are affectionately known as "the clowns". The clowns transform into a wide variety of characters. Thiede also has the assignment of several gender-bending roles. The 'plus', or fifth, cast member is a creative scene setter known as the Stage Meister - played by Gary Burton of Westland.

Inspire Theatre has constructed an outdoor stage directly behind the theatre in the rear parking area and will use this area for the show and future performances. Already slated is an outdoor recital of YPY School of Performing Arts in August. Audiences should  bring a comfortable chair and sunscreen for matinees. Parking will be at Warren Road Church, next to theater. Performances are planned for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 18, 19, 25, and 26 and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 19, 20, 26, and 27. 

Tickets are available at or by calling the theater at (734) 751-7057. Inspire Theatre is located at 33455 Warren Road in Westland.