The 39 Steps MAG

By Henry Bird, Bedford Hills, NY

When I think of Broadway, I think of singing, dancing, and lions falling off cliffs. But one show gave me a whole new perspective. “The 39 Steps,” now on Broadway, is a farce of a classic Alfred Hitchcock movie. The cast of four actors, three men and one woman, play over 120 roles!

The play takes a thriller and makes it humorous while retaining the original suspense. The constant change in roles keeps the audience entertained.

A British man named Rich­ard Hannay inadvertently gets caught up in a spy ring. He is blamed for a murder he did not commit and is being hunted by the actual killers. In this production humor and suspense take turns, giving the audience their money’s worth.

Charles Edwards plays Richard Hannay to perfection. He originated the role in the London production, which was a smash hit. The only member of the original cast who came to the U.S., Edwards fits the character of the dashing Englishman flawlessly. His exaggerated portrayal of the classic hero is very convincing. The other three actors play a variety of roles that range from a train conductor to innkeepers to poor farmers, and each and every one is beautifully ­executed.

Throughout the play the ­actors make allusions to well-known Hitchcock classics such as “Rear Window,” “North by North-West,” and “Psycho.” ­Director Maria Aitken, who ­also worked on “As You Like It” and “A Fish Called Wanda,” does a splendid job here. The creativity and well-thought-out plot really make a difference. Aitken knows what the audience is looking for.

I recommend “The 39 Steps” for families who want to see a Broadway show. I give it two thumbs way up for sidesplitting humor and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

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This article has 1 comment.

ak92092 said...
on Nov. 14 2008 at 2:42 pm
i'm glad you were enlightened as to the true depth of broadway

good review though i want to see it now


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