Community news: Stage company ascends 'The 39 Steps'; Collecting coats for veterans; Poker and bingo night fundraiser

The St. Francis Stage Company is challenging its creative abilities in acting and set design with Alfred Hitchcock's thriller “The 39 Steps,” opening at 8 p.m. Friday and continuing for two weekends in the social hall of St. Francis Xavier Church.

Co-Director Jesse J. Adams saw the award-winning production on Broadway and thought it would be a perfect fit for the sixth annual production that raises funds for the church and school, he said.

What makes this play fun is the producers are encouraged to use their imagination to interpret the script any way they want.

It is a unique concept, Adams said, because usually scripts are very structured.

It's about a man who is not happy with his life and finds himself amid a conspiracy spy story that takes him on a journey throughout the United Kingdom.

Playing the lead and serving as co-director is professional actor Daniel Roebuck, who appeared on TV's “Matlock” for three seasons and recently has been on “Glee” and “NCIS.” Others starring are Chenoa Mitsui, Jim Roope and Chris Kenney.

The play has some 30 short scenes, and each actor except Roebuck changes into a different character for each scene. They portray more than 100 characters throughout so it makes for fast costume changes that add to the hilarity — like men changing into women's costumes. There are also a lot of allusions to Hitchcock films.

They have a team creating set pieces and lighting and special effects because the play takes place in numerous locations, which is new to the company because past productions have always taken place in one room.

Set designers used their imagination in the modes of transportation, specifically the train and car, Roebuck said.

He likened the comedy to watching Monty Python do drama.

“It should be ridiculously funny!” Roebuck said.

Tickets are $15 and a senior special $10 matinee is on Jan. 20. For information, call (818) 504-4400. The church is at 3801 Scott Road.

Former Bob Hope writer visits guild

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Guild will have Bob Hope's comedy writer Gene Parret as the guest speaker at today's meeting held at the medical center.

Parret worked on Hope's writing staff for 28 years, from 1969 until the comic's retirement, many of those years as Hope's head writer.

He also wrote for all of Hope's personal appearances and TV specials as well as traveling with Hope and his troupe to the war zones.

Parret wrote for other comedians and won seven Emmy nominations and other various awards.

Collecting coats for veterans

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program will collect gently worn coats for male and female military veterans and their families from Jan. 14 to 18. There are four drop-off locations: Joslyn Adult Center, 1301 W. Olive Ave.; City Hall, 275 E. Olive Ave.; Burbank Police/Fire Headquarters, 200 N. First St.; and Community Services Building at 150 N. Third St., first-floor lobby.

For more information on this project or other volunteer opportunities, contact RSVP Staff Patty Molinar at (818) 238-5370 or e-mail

Poker and bingo night helps youth club

The annual poker and bingo night fundraiser supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley is Feb. 1 at Woodbury University's Woody's Cafe, 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd. Poker tutorials begin at 6 p.m. The poker tournament and bingo begin at 6:30. Dinner will be served.

Download registration forms

Fax it back to (818) 842-0694.

For more information, call Shanna Warren at (818) 842-9333, Ext. 10.


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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