39 Steps to Reopen Off-Broadway in March
By Andrew Gans
The comedy caper The 39 Steps, a fresh four-actor take on the Alfred Hitchcock thriller which ended its Broadway run Jan. 10 after 771 performances at three venues, will resurface Off-Broadway in March.
Following runs at the Helen Hayes (its most recent home), the Cort and the American Airlines, the acclaimed production will begin previews at New World Stages March 25. Casting will be announced at a later date.
The 39 Steps was 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 final Broadway cast starred Arnie Burton (Man #2), Jeffrey Kuhn (Man #1), Sean Mahon (Richard Hannay) and Jill Paice (Annabella Schmidt/Pamela/Margaret). The company also included 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).
For tickets to the Off-Broadway run, priced $69.50-$89.50, visit Telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200. Performances will be Monday, Wednesday-Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 and 8 PM and Sunday at 3 and 7 PM.
Adapted by Patrick Barlow and directed by Maria Aitken, The 39 Steps is based on an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon and on the book by John Buchan.
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."
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