Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The 39 Steps’ opens at Artists’ Ensemble Theater June 14

Artists’ Ensemble presents “The 39 Steps” June 4-30 in Cheek Theatre at Rockford College. (Photo by John Cobb)

Staff Report

Hitchcock meets hilarity in the spy thriller served with a heaping helping of vintage Monty Python.

This fast-paced comedy thriller is great fun for ages 9 to 90.

Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps opens at Artists’ Ensemble (AE) Theater Friday, June 14, and runs through June 30 in the Cheek Theatre at Rockford College.

In classic Hitchcock style, an innocent man is caught up in a plot by a foreign agent to steal military defense secrets. Soon, he finds himself on the run from both the police and the bad guys — handcuffs, missing fingers, a chase atop a moving train, spies, murder, suspense, good old-fashioned romance and — oh yes, laughter.

This Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs and more than 150 characters — played by a talented cast of four.

Playing our hero, Richard Hannay, is Aaron Christensen, a Chicago actor who has appeared at the Steppenwolf, Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Timeline and many other theaters.

Playing the three women in his life is Erin Koroll, an Ensemble member who was last seen in AE’s production of The Underpants.

The two actors who play everyone else are Michael Herold and David A Gingerich. David, an Ensemble member, may best be remembered as the straight-laced little league coach in Rounding Third. Michael is a member of the Forward Theater company in Madison, Wis., and was last seen at AE as the befuddled Abbot in AE’s production of Incorruptible.

Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Thursday tickets are $19. All other performances are $28, $26 for seniors, and $10 for students.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (815) 394-5004.

AE is an Equity professional theater performing in residence at Rockford College.

From the June 12-18, 2013, issue

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