by Grace Lisandrelli
Broadway’s The 39 Steps is an action-packed tale of suspense, love and adventure adapted from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film. Englishman Richard Hannay, bored with life, is falsely accused of murdering the beautiful and mysterious Annabella Smith. Prior to her demise, Smith warns Hannay of the shadowy 39 Steps and its threat to the world, but fails to identify precisely what the 39 Steps are. She does, however, leave behind clues that lead to the answer. Running from the law and ever further towards the 39 Steps, Hannay finds himself in one absurd predicament after another.
The show’s dialogue and its delivery were crisp and funny. The four actors played many distinct characters. The two actors who played the most roles were Jeffery Kuhn and Arnie Burton. They did a superb job with the wide range of characters — men, women, old, young, flirtatious, dastardly.
The 39 Steps is a must-see performance, particularly if you are looking for some good laughs to last all evening. And then some.
HOW TO SEE THE SHOW: $26.50 student rush • Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 W. 44th St.