Desert Theatreworks Celebrates Legend Alfred Hitchcock's Supense Thrillers

Play is a triple feature of movies performed as a 1940s style radio station broadcast

Michelle Roe Attractions 0 Comments


There is not one spotlight at Desert Theatreworks (DTW), but several.

Starting with Artistic Director Lance Phillips-Martinez and his husband, Executive Director Ron Phillips-Martinez, and their two children (ages 6 and 11), theater life is a family affair.

“Our regular audience, in general, knows our kids,” says Lance Phillips-Martinez. “They ask about our kids when they are not there. If Ron is not in the lobby, they ask ‘Where’s Ron?’ It’s a family business and audience members like that we are a family and they come back. Our cast keeps coming back as well. We pull from among 80 volunteer and professional actors throughout the season. Our cast has even pitched in to work backstage.”


photo by colin eastland

Playwright Joe Landry penned Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play.


Since the “family” began its journey to bring exciting show performances to the Coachella Valley, DTW has become a local fan favorite.

“People are blown away by our professionalism,” Lance says. “We work at it and we approach it like it’s on Broadway. It’s a lot of fun.”

DTW is poised to tackle a fun family version of three vintage Alfred Hitchcock plays being performed as a 1940s style radio station broadcast of the master of suspense’s earlier films. Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play will take the stage twice on July 25 inside the Arthur Newman Theatre at the Joslyn Center in Palm Desert.


Photo courtesy of vintage

John Loder and Sylvia Sidney starred in the original Alfred Hitchcock movie, Sabotage, from 1936.


“What’s exciting about this whole show,” Lance says, “is we have a large group of actors that go into rehearsals the week of the show. Picture it as if you are watching the crazy things that happen in a radio station. Like a backstage view.”

The play is a triple feature with magical sound effects, vintage commercials, drama, physical comedy, a serial killer’s threat, and spooky musical underscoring designed to thrill with twists and turns to delight.

Spies, murder, love, and other trademarks…

The Lodger is a famous story about a serial killer that is semi-melodramatic  but  comical and fun.

Sabotage is about a terrorist group in London.

The 39 Steps is an adapted spy thriller.


Photo courtesy of vintage

Lobby card from The 39 Steps (1936) directed by Alfred Hitchcock.


“I’ve added a few things to make it funny plus we are doing a lot of writing changes,” Lance says. “There will be stark ominous music, spotlights…it’s a lot of fun.”

Be sure to be on the lookout for the Phillips-Martinez’ children — their son will work the lights and their daughter will be on hand to help out as well.

Desert Theatre Works presents Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play, 2 and 7 p.m. July 25, The Joslyn Center, 73750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert, 760-980-1455,


Like what you're reading? Then "Like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter.

Leave a Reply