New York | 1h 40m | Already closed

39 Steps

From 16 critic and 266 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Delightful

About the show

The Tony Award-winning comedic spoof of the classic 1935 film, in which four actors portray more than 150 characters in a fast paced 100 minutes. More…

The madcap story follows dashing hero Richard Hannay as he races to solve the mystery of 'The 39 Steps,' all the while trying to clear his name. The four actors change roles in the blink of an eye. This production, performed at the intimate Union Square Theatre, is a transfer of the Tony Award winning Broadway production.

1h 40m | Already closed | Union Square Theatre (Gramercy)

Time Out New York

"It’s a supporting actor—Arnie Burton, reprising his 2008 Broadway role—who really carries this welcome revival...It’s the silly stage business that milks the laughs. Shedding and switching secondary roles faster than they can doff or trade their cloaks and caps, Burton and sidekick Billy Carter really put their backs into it." Full Review

The Associated Press

"A new production opened Monday with good cheer and manic energy...Director Maria Aitken makes miracles with the minimal scenery and few props, propelling her actors with astonishing fluidity...It’s good to have the looney clowns back." Full Review

The New York Times

"It remains indomitably funny...This bare-bones production is as disciplined and as precise in its footwork as a 'Firebird' from the Bolshoi Ballet. '39 Steps' remains a gallant and giggly ode to make-do resourcefulness...The cast members are as crude and as refined as they need to be." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"Author Patrick Barlow and director Maria Aitken have created a unique piece of screwball comedy to call their own...This loving sendup is part madcap romance, part mistaken-identity thriller, and pure absurdity...At times, it feels a bit like a backyard production from the neighborhood kids, but Hitchcock himself couldn’t have helped cracking a smile at the self-referential hijinks." Full Review


"The cast is aces and the production is still full of funny delights, but while certainly an enjoyable diversion, '39 Steps' never builds to any real comic climax and, though never dull, generally remains on the same lightly amusing level. As foreshadowed in its opening scene, 'Something mindless and trivial. Something utterly pointless.'" Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"This is in every other way 'The 39 Steps' as it's been for the last seven years — clever (sometimes to a fault), theatrical, not especially Hitchcock — just more in need of a fresh set of batteries and perhaps a good kick in the rump. If this isn't ever going to be everyone's cup of tea, it would still benefit from going heavier on the caffeine and a little (or a lot) lighter on the milk and sugar." Full Review


"One of the funniest plays Broadway had seen in years is now majorly head-scratching in just how unfunny this mounting is...It seems that the show was rushed to the stage without enough rehearsal...the pacing is so far off, the chemistry nonexistent, and the campiness too big for a house of this size." Full Review

Chronicle Herald (Canada)

for a previous production "'The 39 Steps' is fun, fast and funny...'The 39 Steps' is a guaranteed all-ages good time running...The show clocks in at two hours with an intermission that sadly spits us out from a crazy, joyful, energized world for a spell before we can return." Full Review

London Theatreland (UK)

for a previous production "'The 39 Steps' somehow manages to combine spies, shadow puppets, death-defying feats of escape and not so staggering special effects. For some reason it really works. The production is silly in the very best sense of the word and if Monty Python style humour tickles your funny bone you are in for a treat! This fast paced spoof spy thriller makes for a jolly good evening!" Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production "This fast, frothy exercise in legerdemain is throwaway theater at its finest. And that’s no backhanded compliment...The actors themselves seem to be having a helluva good time. As does the audience. 'The 39 Steps' stands out for its plying of minimal resources to maximal effect...This show flies lightly into an ether of escapism." Full Review

British Theatre Guide

for a previous production "The result is a brilliant, fast-moving spoof in which the entire company, remarkably only four actors, entertain us all hugely with great skill and real wit...'The Thirty-Nine Steps' now thrives on the deepest stage in London, an appropriate setting for mystery and intrigue." Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production "The George Street production of 'The 39 Steps' is not quite as intoxicating or as maniacally inspired as the Broadway production but it is a great piece of theatrical fun with a cast you might easily want to take home...Their quick-change artistry is a running joke that never gets old." Full Review

London Theatre1

for a previous production "The bowels of The Criterion Theatre was resplendent with laughs of all types. It is, from beginning to end, very funny...The acting is superb and the timing impeccable...If you fancy a spiffing, unpretentious evening out suitable for all of the family, look no further than 'The 39 Steps.'" Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "We laugh at theatre's inability to create realistic impressions of a steam train, a Highland landscape and the Forth bridge; and we laugh, too, at the playfulness of a production that persists in the attempt regardless...It's a witty, high-energy show". Full Review

Time Out London

for a previous production "The point's to spin the straw of theatrical mediocrity into gold standard comedy, and to watch clowns Rupert Degas and Simon Gregor playing four people at once in a flying frenzy of wigs and accents is one of many highlights. If Buchan had ever done anything as girlie as giggle, surely he would have done it here." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

for a previous production "I can’t think of a single thing about 'The 39 Steps' that will whip any seasoned theatregoer into a frenzy of hysterics...Lacking a ripe comedic target, they’re unable to sell 'The 39 Steps' as anything other than an elaborate time-waster that has nothing on its mind, even within the limited realm of frivolous entertainment in which it so shamelessly operates. No, not every play must say something. But must one with so much potential for originality say nothing with such dizzyingly familiar ... Full Review

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Hilarious, Must see

See it if you want to be surprised by the storyline.

Don't see it if you want predictability.

Entertaining, Great acting, Hilarious, Great staging, Masterful

See it if You love comedy and adventure

Don't see it if You don't like shows with not many set pieces or if you don't like adventures

Great acting, Hilarious, Must see

See it if you like Alfred Hitchcock stories.

Don't see it if you don't like Alfred Hitchcock stories.

Funny, Great acting, Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You love witty, entertaining dialogue and especially if u are a fan of Hitchcock!

Don't see it if You are not into dry, quick wit or sarcasm. You just won't appreciate the brilliance of this show.

Clever, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You enjoy Hitchcock and British humor. Very quick witted and doesn't slow down.

Don't see it if You've never seen a Hitchcock film. You won't understand a thing.

Clever, Delightful, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You want to have fun

Don't see it if You should see it

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Must see, Masterful

See it if You love entertaining shows that move quickly.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of Alfred Hitchcock.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You want to see a fantastic production! ...or love Hitchcock!

Don't see it if Hate theater!

Fun, Entertaining, Exciting, Interesting, Happy

See it if you want to have a good time. I loved the show, the time flew by and I wanted more.

Don't see it if you like laughing and having a good time.

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You want a good laugh

Don't see it if You don't like dark things

Clever, Great acting, Hilarious, Great staging, Masterful

See it if you want to be blown away by what Brilliantly Talented, Hardworking Actors can do when given a great story, and direction! This is GENIUS!!!

Don't see it if laughing scares you, & fun makes you break out in hives. This is such a Clever, Inventive, Knockout of a show! You're a fool if you miss it!

Delightful, Clever, Absorbing, Enchanting, Funny

See it if You like funny, silly, unusual shows where the actors play multiple roles.

Don't see it if You want a straightforward play that is typically ordinary.

Hilarious, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to see Hitchcock spoofed brilliantly. You love a good farce with great acting.

Don't see it if You do not like silly comedy. You only like drama.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if want to see a fast paced show and laugh lots

Don't see it if you can't enjoy a silly show

Funny, Great acting, Hilarious, Must see

See it if love to laugh and have a good time

Don't see it if don't like to laugh

Dizzying, Entertaining, Clever

See it if super talented actors in this show. super fun. interesting spin on Hitccock!

Don't see it if if you don't like hitchcock

Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Hilarious, Must see

See it if You love a good farce. It is my all-time favorite play.

Don't see it if You don't love a good farce. And then go on a walkabout to find out why that is.

Clever, Delightful, Great staging, Hilarious, Quirky

See it if You are amused by any of the following: Monty Python, Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy satire, silly accents and costume changes.

Clever, Funny, Great staging, Original, Entertaining

See it if You are Hitchcock fan. A great and funny tribute to the master.

Don't see it if You don't like Hitchcock.

Original, Masterful, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy live theatre at its best! Great actors play multiple roles in this fun mystery. You'll laugh and be wowed by the cleverness of it.

Don't see it if You're looking for a conventional play with a large(er) cast and storyline.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Original, Hilarious

See it if You want to see a show with a talented cast of 4, yes 4, taking on the biggest name in film thriller. Move out comedy of error here it comes

Don't see it if You are not a fan of satire.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you're a Hitchcock fan and want an evening full of laughter.

Don't see it if you don't like comedies.

Absorbing, Delightful, Clever, Entertaining, Must see

See it if You like clever acting and funny spoofs. I saw this twice. Actors are talented and the show is just so quick paced. Their timing and energy!

Don't see it if You have never seen an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Many funny references to his movies. Its fun to watch for them.

Clever, Great staging, Entertaining, Quirky, Hilarious

See it if You enjoy clever wordplay. You're a fan of Hitchcock movies. You enjoy shows w/pop references.You like slapstick. You enjoy fun staging.

Don't see it if You're not familiar with Hitchcock movies. You don't like slapstick or clowning. You want more traditional dialogue & staging.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Exquisite, Great acting

See it if you want to see actors with incredible diversity! theres 4 cast members and 150+ characters! its awesome!

Don't see it if you don't like inventiveness

Cast & Creatives (8)