First produced in London in 1929, Patrick Hamilton's "Rope" still stands as a classic thriller. It is remembered, in the US at least, as a 1948 Alfred Hitchcock movie starring Jimmy Stewart as a professor whose theories about committing the perfect murder, "passionless, motiveless, faultless, clueless, bloodless, and noiseless," inspire two of his students to try their hands at it "for the fun of the thing." Suffice it to say that their "fun" quickly turns to suspense and mayhem of a satisfyingly creepy kind.
For the production this weekend at MuCCC, Hamilton's original script will be used, but "Rope" is also remarkable for the man helming the production. At age 87, director William Andia is slightly older than the classic play he's directing at MuCCC. Andia started out as a designer for local theater companies in the 1940's, and has been involved in the Rochester theater scene ever since, eventually designing 200 shows. MuCCC artistic director John Borek estimates that William Andia has been involved in more than 400 Rochester productions ... so far.
"I enjoyed working with him very much," says Michael Arve, who has also been a local theater fixture himself as director and actor for several decades; he will portray the professor whose theories inspire the murderers in "Rope." Andia also directed Arve in "A Walk in the Woods." "I am amazed at his energy," Arve says. "At 88 he is more with-it than people half his age, and he is a touchstone to much of the history of the Rochester community theatre scene."
"Rope" will be performed Thursday, August 6, through Sunday, August 9, at MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue. 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday; and 2 p.m. on Sunday. $18 general; $12 seniors. muccc.org.