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Local Actors Bring 'The 39 Steps' To Life At Westport Community Theatre

Bill Johnston, Richard Holmes, David Victor and Samantha Pattinson in the Westport Community Theatre production of "The 39 Steps."
Bill Johnston, Richard Holmes, David Victor and Samantha Pattinson in the Westport Community Theatre production of "The 39 Steps." Photo Credit: Diane Farrell

WESTPORT, Conn. –Westport actors Samantha Pattinson, Richard Holmes and Bill Johnston are cast in the latest production from the Westport Community Theatre, "The 39 Steps."

The comedy by John Buchan, is directed by Donna McLaughlin Wyant and takes the stage with performances from June 9 through 25.

In "The 39 Steps," a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, the mysterious organization The 39 Steps, is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale. Wildly inventive stagecraft and riotous virtuoso performances make for unforgettable theatrical entertainment in the comedy. The New York Times described The 39 Steps as “Theatre at its finest!... Absurdly enjoyable!”

Westport actress and lawyer, Samantha Pattison returned to acting two years ago, with area credits including "Witness for The Prosecution," "Private Lives" and "They’re Playing Our Song" at WCT, and "The Philadelphia Story" at Wilton Playshop. She also appeared in "The Invisible Fence" with the Catherine Lindsay Workshop and "Long Ago and Far Away" at the Byram Schubert Library and the Theatre Artists Workshop. She has a film credit for the independent film, "An Inconsistent Story in Stealing" and appeared in the original one act play, "Cue Cards for Clueless Men," by Rosemary Foley, also at the TAW One Act Festival, where she is a member.

Richard Holmes, a newcomer to acting, enrolled in an acting class at Norwalk Community College where he was cast in the role of Dan Dad in NCC's production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

Bill Johnston, previously from Boston, Mass., retired from the medical marketing field where he had acted in training videos and is cast in his first production with the Westport Community Theatre.

"The 39 Steps" won the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience. It was a two-time Tony Award winner at the 2008 Tony Awards, for which it had received six nominations. The fast-paced whodunit masterfully mixes the suspense of a Hitchcock masterpiece and a spy novel, with a dash of Monty Python humor, to produce a comedy of nonstop laughs. The cast plays over 150 characters with on-stage antics including handcuffs, missing fingers, a plane crash and some good old-fashioned romance.

Also cast in the WCT production are Linda Gilmore and Giovanna Olcese of Norwalk, David Victor of Fairfield and Joseph Maker of Stamford.

"The 39 Steps" is produced by arrangement with Samuel French Inc., and has performances from June 9 through 25, on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, with a Thursday performance on June 15 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students, and can be purchased at westportcommunitytheatre.com or by calling (203) 226-1983. The Westport Community Theatre is located at the Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave.

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