The 39 Steps Will Step Into the Helen Hayes in January 2009

By Kenneth Jones
17 Oct 2008

Jennifer Ferrin and Sam Robards
Jennifer Ferrin and Sam Robards
Photo by Joan Marcus

The madcap comedy spy caper The 39 Steps will play its third Broadway house starting Jan. 20, 2009. On Jan. 11, it will play its last show at the Cort Theatre and travel a few blocks south to the Helen Hayes Theatre on West 44th Street.

The comedy based on the Alfred Hitchcock thriller will launch its second year on Broadway at the Hayes, its most intimate home yet. It began in January 2008 as a Roundabout Theatre Company presentation at the American Airlines Theatre. Commercial producers moved it to the Cort on 48th Street in April.

The 39 Steps is the winner of two Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience and the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. It's 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 show features Arnie Burton (Man #2), Jennifer Ferrin (Annabella Schmidt/Pamela/Margaret), Sam Robards (Richard Hannay).and Cliff Saunders (Man #1). Francesca Faridany and Jeffrey Kuhn will join the cast on Oct. 28, replacing Jennifer Ferrin and Cliff Saunders, respectively. The production also features Rob Breckenridge, Claire Brownell and Cameron Folmar.

Here's how producers characterize the show: "Mix Alfred Hitchcock's cinematic masterpiece with a juicy spy novel. Then, add the manic dash of vintage Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps — equal parts hilarious whodunit, espionage thriller and quick-change comedy, adapted for the stage from Hitchcock's famous 1935 film and John Buchan's 1915 novel. 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 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.

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 Cort Theatre box office.

Tickets for performances after Jan. 20, 2009, will go on sale Nov. 3 through Telecharge and at the Helen Hayes Theatre box office on Jan. 5, 2009. 39 tickets at $39 are available at every performance. Performances are Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, Sunday at 3 PM.

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The 39 Steps will follow a holiday booking of Slava's Snowshow at the Hayes.

Visit www.39StepsOnBroadway.com.