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Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps" Finds New Life at Curran Theatre

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The holiday season is a great time for theater in San Francisco—check out my review of “A Christmas Carol” later today—and there’s a new show beginning tonight. First a novel, then a film by Alfred Hitchcock, and now a play, “The 39 Steps” is a fun and farcical mystery. The minimal cast of four takes on 150 different roles for what promises to be a memorable (and disorienting) theatrical experience.

“The 39 Steps” tells the story of an ordinary man who meets a not-so-ordinary woman. (She has a heavy accent—that’s a telltale sign in Hitchcock.) Claiming to be a spy, she goes home with the man and ends up getting herself killed. Then the guy (who, frankly, never asked for any of this) finds he’s being hunted by an underground organization known as the 39 Steps. (Hey, that’s the title!) Like the recent production of “Brief Encounter” at A.C.T., “The 39 Steps” seeks to use theater in a new way, reinventing a cinematic classic for a modern audience.

Hitchcock fans and noobs alike can see “The 39 Steps” at the Curran Theatre from now until January 3. Tickets cost between $35 and $80, and can be purchased on the website.

Photo courtesy SHN.