“The 39 Steps” — a comic thriller involving spies and just a regular guy — comes to Gloucester Stage this month as the theater continues its 40th anniversary season.
The award-winning play — which opens Friday, July 5, and plays through July 28 —has a history of its own. It is based on a 1915 novel by John Buchan that was later turned into the 1935 movie by Alfred Hitchcock and then a Broadway production adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow.
It centers on a man with little excitement in his life who meets a mysterious woman who has an unexpected demise.
“Soon, a mysterious organization called The 39 Steps is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale,” according to the Samuel French synopsis.
Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh directs this adaptation. The cast features Amanda Collins, Gabriel Kuttner, Paul Melendy and Lewis D. Wheeler
“I love the meta-theatrical envelope of the play. It lends great fun to the mystery,” Walsh said. “And the ingredient of English music hall comedy further adds to our enjoyment.”
“The 39 Steps” has been performed in more than 40 countries and won England’s 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience, and France’s Moliere Award for Best Comedy in 2009.
Gloucester Stage Company is located at 267 East Main St., Gloucester. For tickets, discount performances and more information, visit gloucesterstage.com or call the box office at 978-281-4433.
Mug up at Gloucester Marine Railways
The Phyllis A Marine Association’s next Maritime Saturday takes place July 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gloucester Marine Railways Rocky Neck. Join the volunteers of this nonprofit and celebrate the 94th birthday year of the oldest Gloucester fishing vessel — the Phyllis A.
The organization is also on a quest through its Genealogy Discovery Campaign for “Michigan Bears,” members of a group of men who brought the gill net fishing industry to Gloucester from Charlevoix, Michigan, starting in 1910. The group is looking for descendants of the Arnolds, Lasleys, Jones, Places, Dahlmers, Lafonds, Tysvers and others.
For more information, visit phyllis-a.org.
Rockport Music hosting free concert and more
The Rockport Chamber Music Festival presents a free concert with its Young Artist Spotlight on Wednesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. The performance will feature the Morningside Music Bridge program in collaboration with New England Conservatory in Boston, which promotes outstanding young artists as well as develops long-term partnerships between classical music communities internationally. The young artists will perform a program of works by Boccherini, Chopin, Paganini, Ligeti, Beethoven, Szymanowski and From.
Tickets are limited for concerts in what is now the festival’s fourth week, including a Saturday night cabaret event on July 6.
The festival’s final week kicks off on Thursday, July 11, at 8 p.m. with “Reimagining Flamenco,” showcasing an all-star cast of musicians, including Grisha Goryachev, guitar; Serouj Kradjian, piano; Chee-Yun, violin; Daniela Mack, mezzo-soprano; Jeffrey Beecher, bass; and Jamey Haddad and Liam Smith, percussion. This concert is an opportunity to hear the flamenco-inspired music of Manuel de Falla as well as classically flavored reinventions of guitar and piano pieces by the old flamenco masters, according to the program. Kradjian and Barry Shiffman lead a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.
For more information on the festival and tickets, visit rockportmusic.org.
A day of Renaissance at Hammond Castle
Enjoy a day of Renaissance music at Hammond Castle Museum, 80 Hesperus Ave., Gloucester, on Sunday, July 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In a nod to John Hammond’s love of music, three performance groups will fill the halls and grounds of the historic castle, with the melodies accompanying visitors on their self-guided tours. The lineup includes Myschyffe Managed, The Penniless Jacks, and the Ladies of Integrity, Aristocracy, Repute and Society.
Tickets are $15. Visit hammondcastle.org.
New summer artist at Gallery 53
The Rocky Neck Art Colony welcomes Vanessa Michalak, a Maine native who now lives in Gloucester, as Gallery 53’s second summer artist this season.
The public is invited to an opening reception on Saturday, July 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery located in a historic waterfront building at 53 Rocky Neck Ave., Gloucester. The show runs through Aug. 6.
Michalak is known for exploring ideas about escapism, adventure and humanity’s relationship with nature in her expressionistic paintings of Cape Ann. She earned her master’s of fine arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting in 2013; she previously earned a nursing degree from the University of Maine in 2004.
Her work has been included in several exhibitions, including the MFA National Competition and the First Street Gallery in New York City.
Gallery 53 is open daily through Oct. 14. Hours are Sundays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit rockyneckartcolony.org or call 978-282-0917.
‘On the Balcony at Twilight’ at Ahavat Achim
Temple Ahavat Achim, 85 Middle St., Gloucester, will host “Artists and Craftspeople on the Balcony at Twilight” on Wednesday, July 10, at 6:30 p.m.
Following the success last summer of its public writers event, the temple is offering a new program to take advantage of its balcony with its “peek-of-harbor view.”
This year, the event is featuring congregation members who are artists or artisans, including artist Jeff Marshall, whose paintings were recently featured in a solo show at Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester. Other artisans work in fabric, glass and jewelry also will be on display and available for sale. Wine, cheese and desserts will be served as well.
For more information, visit taagloucester.org.
Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-675-2706, or email@example.com, at least two weeks in advance.