The Chase Is Back On! 39 Steps Begins at Broadway's Helen Hayes

News   The Chase Is Back On! 39 Steps Begins at Broadway's Helen Hayes Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, the quick-change comedy caper that has kept audiences guessing — and laughing — resumes Broadway performances Jan. 21 at the Helen Hayes Theatre.
Sean Mahon in The 39 Steps.
Sean Mahon in The 39 Steps. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Hayes is the third Broadway theatre for the U.K.-created show that borrows plot and characters (but not tone) from the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie. After playing at Huntington Theatre Company's home in Boston in late 2007, the production premiered on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre (as a Roundabout Theatre production) starting in January 2008. When critics and audiences embraced it, commercial producers plucked it up and moved it first to the Cort Theatre (where it ended Jan. 4) and now to the Hayes. With each Broadway move, the auditoriums have gotten smaller, allowing audiences a more and more intimate view of the experience; they're ready for their closeups.

The theatrically buoyant comedy now features Sean Mahon (The Seafarer) as Richard Hannay, the man who races across the U.K. following a murder. Sam Robards played the role at the Cort; Charles Edwards played the role in London and in the Broadway premiere.

The cast also currently features Arnie Burton (Man #2), Francesca Faridany (Annabella Schmidt/Pamela/Margaret) and Jeffrey Kuhn (Man #1) with Rob Breckenridge, Claire Brownell and Cameron Folmar.

Mahon made his Broadway debut in Conor McPherson's The Seafarer. His other theatrical credits include Savage in Limbo, Translations, Ourselves Alone, The Visit, Stones in his Pockets, Yankee Trader, Confessions of a Catholic Child, One for the Road, Drama at Inis and Big Maggie. His screen credits include "Fringe," "As the World Turns," "Angel," "The Agency," "Everwood," "ER," "Line of Fire," "Sci-fi MOW," "Hulk" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." He is a founding member of The Virtual Theater Project.

The 39 Steps, according to producers, "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 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.

The production team of The 39 Steps features set and costume designer Peter McKintosh, lighting designer Kevin Adams and sound designer Mic Pool. Dialect coach is Stephen Gabis. Original movement was created by Toby Sedgwick. Additional movement is created by Christopher Bayes. Production management is by Aurora Productions. Production stage manager is Nevin Hedley.

The first production of The 39 Steps was directed by Fiona Buffini and produced on stage by North Country Theatre in April 1996 at the Georgian Theatre, Richmond, North Yorkshire.

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 (Todd Haimes, artistic director; Harold Wolpert, managing director; Julia Levy, executive director), Huntington Theatre Company (Nicholas Martin, artistic director; Michael Maso, managing director) and Edward Snape for Fiery Angel Ltd. Associate producer is Marek J. Cantor.

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

The Helen Hayes Theatre is located at 240 West 44th Street. Tickets for all performances are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.

For more information visit www.39StepsOnBroadway.com.

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