Musicals at Richter

Oh, the wishes you can wish for tonight!

On the 20th Century

Music by Cy Coleman

Book and Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adoph Green

Based on the play "Twentieth Century" by Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur
and "Napoleon of Broadway" by Charles Bruce Milholland

Broadway Production Directed by Harold Prince

 

"LIFE IS LIKE A TRAIN, A ROARING RUSHING TRAIN..." 

     

 Photos by Peter M. Lerman

Synoposis: 

 On the Twentieth Century focuses on egomaniacal producer Oscar Jaffee and his volatile personal and professional relationship with the arrogant film actress Lily Garland. After producing four flops in a row, Jaffe’s theater is being foreclosed. He then books a suite on the luxury train the Twentieth Century Limited, heading from Chicago to New York City with Garland and her new beau, narcissistic heartthrob Bruce Granit, on board, in the hope he can lure her back to the stage and salvage his sinking career. Garland, who abhors Jaffee, is just as determined to escape his charm, and a battle of wits begins.

About:

On the Twentieth Century, was a Broadway musical with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Cy Coleman, directed by Hal Prince. It opened in 1978 and starred Imogene Coca, John Cullum, Madeline Kahn and Kevin Kline. (Miss Kahn left the production fairly early in its run; her understudy, Judy Kaye, who had already gone on for her many times, took over the role and launched her own starring career.)

It was an adapation of a story first presented in Charles Bruce Millholland's play Napoleon of Broadway, based on his experiences working for the theater producer David Belasco. This was adapted by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur as the play Twentieth Century, which was produced and directed on Broadway in 1932 by George Abbott.

The plot, a screwball comedy, features an egomaniacal Broadway producer who makes a shopgirl into a star, then tries to win her back after she abandons him. Most of the action takes place aboard the New York City-Chicago train known as The Twentieth Century Limited.

The play was adapted by Hecht and MacArthur (credited) and by Gene Fowler and Preston Sturges (uncredited) for Howard Hawks's 1934 film, Twentieth Century, which starred John Barrymore and Carole Lombard.

Early in the run, Judy Kaye replaced Madeline Kahn as Lily Garland. (Miss Kaye's new understudy was future Tony-winning star Christine Ebersole.) Co-lyricist/librettist Betty Comden also replaced Imogene Coca as Letitia Primrose for a spell.

The production won the Tony Awards for book and score.

Artistic Team:

Directed and Choreographed by Christopher Gladysz

Musical Direction by Stephanie Gaumer-Klein

Conducted by Emily Jayko

Set Design by Christpher Gladysz

Lighting Design by Jeff Klein

Produced by Marie Ricci Gelston

Production Stage Manager:  Charity M. Ferris

CAST OF CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)

Bishop..............................................William Lamoureux
Priest................................................Paul Stein
Joan of Arc........................................Jorie Janeway
Match Girls........................................Melanie Romano, Kelly Reagan
Soldier..............................................Stephen Papallo
Executioner......................................Joseph Bukowski
The Dauphin.....................................Jack Moreno
Angels of the Flame..........................Karissa Raymond, Paige Newman
Stage Manager.................................Matthew Sumski
Stage Hand......................................Daniel Bayer
Wardrobe Mistress...........................Dolly Conner
Owen O'Malley..................................Peter Lerman
Oliver Webb......................................Matt Austin
Letitia Peabody Primrose..................Jody Bayer
Train Secretary.................................Joseph Bukowski
Conductor Flanagan.........................Andrew Bayer
Porter Rogers...................................Daniel Bayer
Porter Jones.....................................Kris McCormick
Porter 3............................................Stephen Papallo
Porter 4............................................Brendan Lynch
Mrs. Viola B. Livengood.................... Lisa Michele Cohen
Miss Ida Dunham..............................Meredith Walker
Congressman Lockwood..................Stephen DiRocco
Anita.................................................Jasmin Barbosa
Oscar Jaffee......................................Christopher Gladysz
Max Jacobs.......................................Brendan Lynch
Imelda Thornton..............................Cristina Balsama
Maxwell Finch...................................Stephen Papallo
Lily Garland/Mildred Plotka...............Priscilla Squiers
Otto von Bismarck............................Paul Stein
Bruce Granit.....................................John Blackwell
Agnes...............................................Jorie Janeway
Dr. Johnson......................................Barbara Kessler
First Institutional Officer...................Matthew Sumski
Second Institutional Officer...............Melanie Romano
Rodney..............................................Joseph Bukowski
Nigel..................................................John Blackwell

Train Passengers, Nuns, Lusty Wenches, Soldiers, French Peasants, Reporters,
Photographers, Mayfair Guests...

Cristina Balsama, Jasmin Barbosa, Daniel Bayer, Joseph Bukowski, Lise Michele Cohen,
Dolly Conner, Stephe DiRocco, Jorie Janeway, Barbara Kessler, Brendan Lynch, Kirs McCormick,
Jack Moreno, Paige Newman, Stephen Papallo, Melanie Romano, Karissa Raymond, Kelly Reagan,
Paul Stein, Matthew Sumski, Meredith Walker

 

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