The 39 Steps

September 10, 2010

My mom in Paris, 1984

Thanks to Millie's fantastic giveaway on Classic Forever, my parents were able to see The 39 Steps in New York this week! The 39 Steps is not only their favorite Hitchcock film -- it's their favorite film, period.

I asked them to each write a guest post about the experience, the play, and how it compared to their favorite flick. Today I'm publishing my mom's post, and my dad's will be up next week (he said he'd have it done by today and then didn't ... like father like daughter, eh? ;-)

So without further ado, I give you ---- my wonderful mom!
My husband and I have loved the Hitchcock film, “The 39 Steps,” for years and years. We frequently quote certain lines from the movie for no apparent reason at all (like “I’ll away and light the fire” or “Clear out, Hannay, they’ll get you next” [which, of course, must be followed by a genuine fake cough]). For my birthday, he painted the two main characters from the last scene in the movie – just a close up of their intertwined hands. So, imagine our glee at being able to actually see the play! We arrived the obligatory half-hour ahead of time to pick up the tickets, grabbed a hot (but overcooked and crunchy) soft pretzel from a nearby vendor and waited in the adjacent courtyard with our daughter and son. Showtime arrived quickly – off we toddled to the theatre, off they toddled to explore the city.

The theatre is underground, which at first seemed odd but then never entered my mind again. It isn’t really big, and while most seats are probably good seats, our seats were great! We were on the aisle, about seven rows back (since we were in row “G,” seven seems a good guess). We agreed in advance that if they spoke our favorite lines, we’d consider the play a success. Well, not only did they say those lines, but everything else about this play made it a success – it was a hoot! Even with minimal props and the actors playing multiple roles, the play followed the plot of the movie almost to a tee. What an incredible feat! The acting was superb, the jokes were truly funny, the deliberately not-so-subtle references to other Hitchcock films (and even Hitchcock himself!) were hysterical. As “39 Steps” aficionados, we can guarantee that from now on, this play will be referenced whenever we watch the movie. “Rear Window” will likely creep in when the farmer’s wife is helping Hannay to escape. When Hannay and Pamela are being kidnapped by the fake police, I’m sure we’ll mention that the car should be made of chairs. The next time the professor’s gun-toting hand peeks out from behind the curtain, one of us will surely blurt out, “Bet his arm’s artificial!”

This play was just so much fun! I loved sitting next to my husband, laughing out loud together to a different version of one of our most favorite stories. What a great afternoon! All I can say is that even though my daughter won the tickets, I think I’m the lucky one!


Raquel Stecher said...

Excellent! Your mom did a great job with this post. And OMG you look just like your mom. I loved the pic from 1984, nice tough.

Millie said...


That play sounds like sooo much fun!

And that photo from Paris is just awesomeness!

smatterings said...

glad to know your parents like it! the 39 steps is one of my favorite plays to come out in NYC for awhile now, it is such a refreshing original take in a theatre scene that is over-crowded with so-so work! and it is laugh out loud funny!

CagneyFan said...

I enjoyed so much reading this post. You sound like such a great family, supportive of each other and enjoying one another's company. Glad your parents had such a great time at the show. Love that photo of your mom in Paris.