Since the September 2009 announcement that the play would close by January, producers have been exploring a plan to move the staging Off-Broadway, but by press time (Jan. 8) no official Off-Broadway berth had been announced.
The 39 Steps is the longest-running Broadway play in seven years. The zany four-actor reinvention of the film by Hitchcock received its American premiere in September 2007 at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. The Broadway premiere began previews on Jan. 4, 2008, officially opening on Jan. 15 at Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theatre. The show moved to the Cort Theatre on April 29, 2008, and then to the Helen Hayes Theatre on Jan. 21, 2009.
The production currently stars Arnie Burton (Man #2), Jeffrey Kuhn (Man #1), Sean Mahon (Richard Hannay) and Jill Paice (Annabella Schmidt/Pamela/Margaret). The company also includes Rob Breckenridge, Cameron Folmar and Nisi Sturgis.
Among its 2008 Tony nominations were Best Play and Best Direction. It won Tonys for Best Lighting Design (Kevin Adams) and Best Sound Design (Mic Pool).
The 39 Steps is now in its third hit year in London. A U.S. national tour kicked off in November at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, following engagements at the La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Rep. Regional theatres have also announced the play for the upcoming season (a resident production just began at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). *
Here's how the producers characterize the madness: "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."
Tickets are available from TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com and at the Helen Hayes Theatre box office at 240 W. 44th Street.
Performances are Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM.