Desert Foothills debuts Hitchcock spoof
STAFF REPORT~ 2/13/2013
Desert Foothills Theater , a program of the Foothills Community Foundation, presents the Arizona Premiere of “Wrong Window,” a suspenseful and comedic play running Thursday through March 3 at Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center in Scottsdale.
Directed by Petey Swartz, this spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” tells the story of off-and-on New York couple, Marnie and Jeff, who enter an even more complicated phase of their relationship when they think they spy their cross-courtyard neighbor do away with his wife. Among multiple door-slammings, body-snatchings, and a frantic flashlight chase scene, two questions remain: Who killed Lila Larswald? And, if she's not dead, then who is?
The show includes eight characters, many with names that are direct juxtapositions of actual Hitchcock character names. In “Rear Window,” James Stewart plays L.B. Jeffries. In “Wrong Window,” the character is Jeffrey Elbies. In the original film, the Raymond Burr character is Lars Thorwald. In this show, it is Thor Larswald, and so forth. The plot centers around four main characters, Jeff, Marnie, Robbie and Midge.
“I have incorporated a sort of Lucy and Ethel dynamic between the two girls, and the two guys play off each other with hysterical results,” Swartz said. “We are going for an entire theater-going experience with Hitchcock-related promos, raffles and decor.”
“Wrong Window” also marks the first time Desert Foothills Theater includes unique audio visual elements into the production. “Because of the arena of action being mostly upstage center, I was concerned about the sight lines of the audience in the black box,” Swartz said. “There will be a camera to record the live action in the "Wrong Window,” upstage center, which will be shown on two projection screens (one on each side of the stage) allowing the entire audience to follow the action. The screens will also show a Hitchcock-related video montage, clips and stills.”
Timing is also a critical element to the play’s success. In preparation, Swartz has been drilling the actors on precise timing and choreographing all of the physical action. “Good farce requires – literally - the counting of beats to make a joke work,” she said.
Swartz said audiences will enjoy an evening of suspense and laughter. “Although the play is a parody of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and has many comical references to his works, one does not have to be a Hitchcock fan to enjoy the hysterical action, sight gags, puns and wacky characters. It is a very funny show,” she said.
The cast includes: Matthew Harris, Amy Serafin, Ken Bailes, Virginia Olivieri, Rich Wales, Charlie LeSueur, Christina Robinson, and Peter Strupp.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from $25-$30 for adults and $15-$18 for youth and students. Ticketing fees apply. Visit desertfoothillstheater.org or call 480-488-1981.
Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center is located at 33606 N. 60th Street, in Scottsdale.