The 39 Steps Hits 500th Broadway Performance

News   The 39 Steps Hits 500th Broadway Performance Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, Broadway's longest currently-running comedy, plays its 500th performance May 19.

Sean Mahon in The 39 Steps.
Sean Mahon in The 39 Steps. Photo by Joan Marcus

Now in its second year, the Tony Award-winning quick-change comedy version of Hitchcock's classic film thriller is playing at the Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 W. 44th Street. Its earlier Broadway homes were the American Airlines Theatre and the Cort Theatre.

The 39 Steps is adapted by Patrick Barlow and directed by Maria Aitken. The production is based on an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon and on the book by John Buchan.

Here's the plot in a nutshell: "Seeking a frivolous night out at the theatre, Richard Hannay is lured into a world of intrigue by a mysterious woman claiming to be a spy. When she winds up dead in his flat, he flees London with the police hot on his trail."

The 39 Steps "features a cast of four actors who, against all odds, breathlessly and hilariously attempt to reenact all of the characters, locations and famous scenes in Hitchcock's 1935 film thriller with just a few props and a lot of theatrical ingenuity and split second quick changes."

The production currently stars Arnie Burton (Man #2), Francesca Faridany (Annabella Schmidt/Pamela/Margaret), Jeffrey Kuhn (Man #1) and Sean Mahon (Richard Hannay). Jill Paice joins the company on June 2, replacing Faridany. The company also includes Rob Breckenridge, Claire Brownell and Cameron Folmar. The production features sets and costumes by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Kevin Adams and sound by Mic Pool. Dialect coach is Stephen Gabis. Original movement created by Toby Sedgwick. Additional movement created by Christopher Bayes. Production management is by Aurora Productions. Production stage manager is Nevin Hedley. The 39 Steps continues its hit run in London. The first production was directed by Fiona Buffini and produced on stage by North Country Theatre in April 1996 at the Georgian Theatre, Richmond, North Yorkshire.

The production received its American debut at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, MA. The Broadway premiere began previews on Jan. 4, 2008 and officially opened on Jan. 15 at Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theatre.

Commercial producers snatched it up.

The 39 Steps is produced by Bob Boyett, Harriet Newman Leve/Ron Nicynski, Stewart F. Lane/Bonnie Comley, Manocherian Golden Prods., Olympus Theatricals/Douglas Denoff, Pam Laudenslager/Pat Addiss, Tim Levy/Remmel T. Dickinson, Roundabout Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company and Edward Snape for Fiery Angel Ltd. Associate producer is Marek J. Cantor.

Tickets are available from TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com and at the Helen Hayes Theatre box office.

Performances are Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, Sunday at 3 PM.

Visit www.39StepsOnBroadway.com.

Jeffrey Kuhn, Francesca Faridany, Arnie Burton and Sean Mahon
Jeffrey Kuhn, Francesca Faridany, Arnie Burton and Sean Mahon Joan Marcus
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