POST: '39 Steps' I don't mean clowns, I mean really funny guys

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Watching 39 Steps was different than the other plays I have watched because I saw it with my boyfriend Ryan. I met him just in time for the matinee (2 o'clock showing), grateful that the trains didn't fail me.  Right when we walked through the doors, a man greeted us and asked if we had our noses. We said no and he ran to get us some. He came back really quickly and said "these are because something funny is happening in NYC. And if you post a selfie with them on use the #nosie. That's what we are calling them." Ryan and I laughed and said thank you. I was so happy to get a clown nose. They just gave them out! We then found the usher to seat us. We were in row E and Ryan was so surprised that we were so close to the front. They were great seats!

The play started and within the first two scenes Ryan started imitating one of the characters (Clown 1 or Clown 2) because after every clapping track, the Clown would swipe his hands to the side to silence the sounds. As I watched every scene I really got in to the characters. The clowns dressed up as women and did hilarious Scottish accents. One of the Clowns pronounced cows like "cews" and Ryan whispered to me "that's actually how they pronounce it in Scotland". Now mind you, when I say clowns I don't mean ACTUAL clowns, I mean really funny guys. Their character names in the playbill are actually Clown one and Clown two. 

In one scene, the main characters were jumping over hurdles (one of the clowns), the clown would stay on the floor rolled up or lay with his legs out so they had to step across. At one point the main character was fed up! It seemed like he was out of character but he wasn't. That was the actual play! So he says "just get out of here" and pushes the clown off stage. So now of course we think "oh the stage is clear there's no more 'rocks' for them to climb over". But no! The clown goes off stage and gets a fence and rolls it on stage. Then he crosses his arms and smiles slyly at the main character. I busted out laughing as did everyone else. I loved that they seemed to get out of character but they didn't actually! 

Once the intermission hit, I was nervous that I would lose all the good vibes I just received for that hour of the play. I realized that intermissions really my mood. When it started up again, I felt tired and hungry but once the actors got back into it I was laughing so hard and right back with them.

One of the clowns was making an announcement in a scene and looked out into the audience like we were the actual audience for the committee meeting they were having and I could have sworn he looked straight at me and waved. So I waved slightly, not enough to get caught If he wasn't, and got happy. lol. What a theatre nerd. He continued to be in character and I was sitting there feeling awkward. But I still think he noticed us. Come on! We were so close to the stage it's possible. 

The whole play had only 4 actors with the clowns being a good portion of 100 characters, 150 according to the card they give out. In one of the last scenes all four characters are on stage. And all of a sudden a hand peaks out through the curtain and *censored word to not give the secret away you should go find out what this is... Like now* one of the cast members! Ryan immediately says "they had to pay someone for just that hand" I begin to laugh because that's possibly true, someone had to be on stage at the exact right time and wear that sleeve and participate. It was so unexpected I really enjoyed that. So I was thinking "there are only 4 people, who the heck is that?" One of the cast members says "this is supposed to be a cast of 4!" and keeps putting his fingers up to show only 4 cast members. Hahaha! Oh my god, Ryan and I started laughing so hard at that. I loved how they got out of character by still being in character. It was like characterception.. Which is still technically inception but I'll go with it.

I was glad to know Ryan really enjoyed the play. I didn't know how funny it would be but we laughed at most things. I laughed at every little thing because I was in a really good mood and super cozy in my seat while holding his hand and arm.


$20 Student Tickets

39 Steps
Union Square Theatre
thru Sept. 6