"The 39 Steps"

April 20, 2011

Through May 14

Indiana Repertory Theatre

Going into 2007-2008, I don’t think many people would have predicted that the four-actor spoof “The 39 Steps” would last nearly 800 performances on Broadway, leaving such anticipated—and far more expensive—shows as Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” (514), “Xanadu” (561), Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” (735), and even the acclaimed Patti LuPone revival of “Gypsy” (359) in the dust. And when it closed on Broadway, the production shifted to off-Broadway, where it ran through January 2011.

What is it that gave the show such staying power?

We should find out when the IRT gives its spin to the play, inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock film and John Buchan novel about an innocent man whose life gets complicated when the mysterious woman he meets one night turns up dead. Local favorite Rob Johansen is one of the quick-changing actors playing dozens of supporting roles. Details here.