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Monday, 09 November 2009 15:01

THE 39 STEPS Plays 700th Performance on Broadway Tomorrow Night



Alfred Hitchcock’s THE 39 STEPS, Broadway’s longest running comedy, plays its 700th performance tomorrow night, Tuesday, November 10, at the Helen Hayes Theatre (240 West 44th Street).  At that performance, the production will tie the runs of such legendary plays as The Miracle Worker (1959) and That Championship Season (1972).  THE 39 STEPS also recently passed such long-running shows as Purlie (1970), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), The Children’s Hour (1934) and August: Osage County (2007)

The show will conclude its Tony Award-winning two year run on January 10, 2010, when it will play its final performance on Broadway.   THE 39 STEPS will have played 771 performances – the longest running Broadway play in seven years. 

THE 39 STEPS received its American premiere in September, 2007 at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston.  The Broadway production opened January 15, 2008 at Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre, moving to the Cort Theatre on April 29, 2008 and then to the Helen Hayes Theatre on January 21, 2009. 

Now in its third smash year in London, a US national tour of THE 39 STEPS recently launched at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven.  It will play engagements in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Baltimore, Atlanta and Washington, DC, among other cities.   

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.  

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 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.

THE 39 STEPS opened to deliriously ecstatic reviews.   Ben Brantley, New York Times, called the production, “Absurdly enjoyable!  This gleefully theatrical riff on Hitchcock’s film is fast and frothy, performed by a cast of four that seems like a cast of thousands.  The actors themselves seem to be having a helluva good time.  As does the audience.”   Clive Barnes, New York Post, pronounced THE 39 STEPS "Inventively astonishing, riotous & marvelous."  Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News, exclaimed, “Hitchcock probably never imagined his thriller had the makings of a hilarious comedy, but this show is a dizzy delight and an ingenious spoof, inventively directed by Maria Aitken. A fast-paced fun ride!”

Tickets are available from TeleCharge at 212-239-6200, online at and at the Helen Hayes Theatre box office.  Performances are Tuesday at 7:00 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM, with matinees Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM.

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