Beyond such highlights, though, the show is more or less a steady stream of gags and caricatures — funny and expertly carried out, but without much tonal change or investment in the stakes or substance of the story. If it's story — or suspense — you're after from The 39 Steps, get the form of it that they carry at Videoport. If you go to PSC's version, be sure you're going for the jokes.

Megan Grumbling can be reached atmgrumbling@hotmail.com.

THE 39 STEPS | adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan, adapted from the movie by Alfred Hitchcock | Directed by Samuel Buggeln | Produced by Portland Stage Company | through October 24 | 207.774.0465

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