American Airlines Theatre, (3/15/2015 - 7/19/2015)

First Preview: Feb 13, 2015
Opening Date: Mar 15, 2015
Closing Date: Jul 19, 2015
Total Previews: 33
Total Performances: 144

Category: Musical, Comedy, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Mainly on the Twentieth Century Limited from Chicago to New York. The early 1930's.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers, General Manager)

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers, General Manager)

Book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Music by Cy Coleman; Based on plays by Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur and Bruce Millholland; Musical Director: Kevin Stites; Music orchestrated by Larry Hochman; Dance arrangements by David Krane; Incidental music by David Krane; Additional Material by Marco Pennette; Additional lyrics by Amanda Green; Additional Orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin and James Abbott

Directed by Scott Ellis; Choreographed by Warren Carlyle; Associate Director: Kasey RT Graham; Associate Choreographer: Angie Canuel; Original Broadway production directed by Harold Prince

Scenic Design by David Rockwell; Costume Design by William Ivey Long; Lighting Design by Donald Holder; Sound Design by Jon Weston; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Makeup Design by Anne Ford-Coates; Associate Scenic Design: Richard M. Jaris and T.J. Greenway; Associate Costume Design: Cathy Parrott; Associate Lighting Design: Carolyn Wong; Associate Sound Design: Jason Strangfeld; Associate Wig Design: Giovanna Calabretta; Moving Light Programmer: Jay Penfield

Executive Producer: Sydney Beers; "On The Twentieth Century" General Manager: Denise Cooper; Associate Managing Director: Steve Dow; Company Manager: Carly DiFulvio Allen

Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Stage Manager: Scott Taylor Rollison

Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Music Direction by Kevin Stites; Associate Conductor: Lawrence Goldberg; Reeds: Jim Ercole, David Young and Ronald Jannelli; Trumpet/Flugel/Piccolo Trumpet: John Dent; French Horn: Katie Dennis; Trombone/Bass Trombone: Ben Herrington; Violin: Sean Carney; Viola: Maxine Roach; Cello: Sarah Seiver; Bass: Michael Blanco; Drums/Percussion: Eric Borghi; Keyboard 1: Kevin Stites; Keyboard 2: Lawrence Goldberg; Synthesizer Programmer: James Abbott; Music Copying: Emily Grishman; Music Preparation: Katharine Edmonds and Emily Grishman

Roundabout Founding Director Gene Feist; Roundabout Adams Associate Artistic Director: Scott Ellis; Roundabout Director of Development: Lynne Gugenheim Gregory; Roundabout Director of Marketing & Audience Development: Robert Sweibel; Casting: Jim Carnahan, C.S.A. and Stephen Kopel C.S.A.; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Interactive Marketing: Situation Interactive; General Press Representative: Polk & Co.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Kristin ChenowethLily Garland
Mildred Plotka
Peter GallagherOscar Jaffee
Andy KarlBruce Granit
Mark Linn-BakerOliver Webb
Michael McGrathOwen O'Malley
Mary Louise WilsonLetitia Peabody Primrose
Phillip AttmorePorter
Justin BowenTrain Secretary
Paula Leggett ChaseImelda Thornton
Ben CrawfordEnsemble
Rick FaugnoPorter
Bahiyah HibahCan-Can Girl
Drew KingPorter
Analisa LeamingAnita
Kevin LigonSimon Finch
Otto Von Bismarck
Erica MansfieldCan-Can Girl
James MoyeMax Jacobs
Linda MuglestonDr. Johnson
Mamie ParrisAgnes
Andy TaylorCongressman Lockwood
Jim WaltonConductor Flanagan
Richard Riaz YoderPorter

Swings: Preston Truman Boyd and Jenifer Foote

Understudies: Justin Bowen (Porters), Paula Leggett Chase (Dr. Johnson), Ben Crawford (Bruce Granit, Max Jacobs), Analisa Leaming (Agnes), Kevin Ligon (Conductor Flanagan, Congressman Lockwood), James Moye (Oscar Jaffee), Linda Mugleston (Letitia Peabody Primrose), Mamie Parris (Imelda Thornton, Lily Garland, Mildred Plotka) and Andy Taylor (Oliver Webb, Owen O'Malley)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2015 Best Revival of a Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers, General Manager)

 2015 Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical [nominee] 

Kristin Chenoweth

 2015 Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical [nominee] 

Andy Karl

 2015 Best Scenic Design of a Musical [nominee] 

David Rockwell

 2015 Best Costume Design of a Musical [nominee] 

William Ivey Long

Drama Desk Award

 2015 Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue [nominee] 

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert: Managing Director; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers, General Manager)

winner 2015 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Kristin Chenoweth

 2015 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Andy Karl

 2015 Outstanding Choreography [nominee] 

Warren Carlyle


music by Cy Coleman; lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden
(Unless otherwise noted)

ACT 1 Sung By
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Owen, Oliver and Actors
Saddle Up the Horse
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Owen, Oliver, Porters and Passengers
On the 20th Century
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Owen, Oliver, Porters and Passengers
I Rise Again
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Oscar, Owen and Oliver
Oscar Jaffee/Lily Garland Transition
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Porters and Oscar
Indian Maiden's Lament
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Imelda and Mildred Plotka
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Oscar, Lily, Porters, Otto Von Bismarck, Can-Can Girls and Ensemble
I Have Written a Play
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Conductor Flanagan
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Porters, Ensemble, Oscar, Lily and Bruce
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Lily, Oliver and Bruce
Our Private World
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Oscar and Lily
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Oscar and Bruce
I've Got It All
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Lily and Oscar
ACT 2 Sung By
Life Is Like a Train
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
I Have Written a Play (Reprise)
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Congressman Lockwood
Five Zeros
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Owen, Oliver, Letitia and Oscar
I Have Written a Play (Reprise)
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Dr. Johnson, Owen, Oliver and Oscar
Sign Lily Sign
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Owen, Oliver, Oscar, Letitia, Lily and Bruce
She's a Nut
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Max Jacobs
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Max and Lily
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Lily and Ensemble
Because of Her
(lyrics by Amanda Green)
(lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden)
Lily, Oscar and Oliver


AP: "Chenoweth soars in manic 'On the Twentieth Century'"

The effervescent revival of the 1978 musical comedy "On the Twentieth Century" that just steamed into the American Airlines Theatre marks a bewitching Broadway return for Tony- and Emmy Award-winner Kristen Chenoweth as 1930s Hollywood diva Lily Garland.

The Roundabout Theatre production that opened Sunday night is a sizzling, sumptuous entertainment that pairs Chenoweth with a suavely roguish Peter Gallagher. Chenoweth is a petite powerhouse in the prima donna role of Lily, originated on Broadway by Madeline Kahn.

Director Scott Ellis has reimagined the show with kinetic, retro-perfect sophistication and style. The original 1978 musical comedy had a book and witty lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and a rhythmic score by Cy Coleman that spoofed over-the-top musical styles, notably operetta.

"Century" is filled with delightfully improbable madcap action, flamboyant musical numbers and polished, inventive choreography by Warren Carlyle. There's even an adorable quartet of tap-dancing porters. Chenoweth glamorously milks each comical cliche while her opera-trained voice trills and soars in song after song.

Golden Globe-winner Gallagher plays duplicitous theater producer Oscar Jaffee, Lily's Pygmalian-like former lover who discovered and molded her into a star. Oscar's career is fast losing steam after a string of failed plays, while Lily's continued to have wealth and success after their breakup.

To stave off bankruptcy, he plots to sign her to a nonexistent new play about Mary Magdalene while they barrel along on the luxurious Twentieth Century Limited train from Chicago to New York.

Gallagher shades his comedy with bluster and poignancy, as Oscar braves the ups and downs of getting Lily to sign a contract. In rueful reminiscences about their tumultuous past, Gallagher provides a handsome rendition of the bittersweet solo "Because of Her," and the two stars sing wonderfully together, especially in the lovely ballad, "Our Private World."

In between high-spirited train station scenes on the sleek Art Deco set, Chenoweth belts her heart out in splashy, gorgeously period-costumed numbers like "Veronique" (set in the French Revolution) and "Babette" (involving a decadent British Mayfair party). She physically soars too, frequently lifted aloft or carried around like a doll.

Much of the screwball slapstick is set inside the luxury train car, with Andy Karl displaying comically preening narcissism as Lily's handsome, hulky, but not-so-bright movie-star boyfriend. Mark Linn-Baker and Michael McGrath display fine vaudevillian chops as Oscar's longtime sidekicks, especially when they sing "Five Zeros," an ode to the joys of money.

Mary Louise Wilson is gleefully scene-stealing as Oscar's unexpected benefactress, religious-minded Letitia Primrose. Wilson brings down the house with her warbling lecture "Repent," impishly warning the audience that, "Across the land, in every home" there are "dirty doings going on." She pops up ever-more drolly in unexpected places once Letitia's big secret is revealed.

Kevin Stites leads the lively orchestra with brio, and the beautiful costumes are courtesy of William Ivey Long. David Rockwell is the mastermind behind the fantastical set, in which parts of the locomotive and stations glide around like pieces of a giant train set. All the elements of this "Century" combine to make a musical, manic train ride that truly puts the "loco" in locomotion.


New York Daily News: "'On the Twentieth Century' review: Kristin Chenoweth the engine of a blissful Broadway revival"

Next stop, Broadway musical bliss.

That’s where the Roundabout revival of “On the Twentieth Century,” directed with verve by Scott Ellis, takes you.

The setting for this fast-paced, flab-free screwball operetta by Cy Coleman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green is a luxury coach en route from Chicago to New York in the 1930s. The stylish state-of-the-art locomotive by David Rockwell gleams in brilliant Art Deco glory.

But that’s nothing compared to the practically nuclear glow that comes off Kristin Chenoweth, whose singular talent and skills are tailor-made for a role originated on Broadway in 1978 by Madeline Kahn.

Chenoweth is a stick of blond dynamite, a virtuoso comedian and singer. She uses her petite body, ample bosom and middle finger for a laugh. She hits every high C in the joyous and eclectic score that pushes the plot along expertly.

As Mildred Plotka, Chenoweth is a nobody, an audition pianist plunking out a living. She morphs into Lily Garland, an Oscar-winning glamour girl ever-fetching in stunning gowns — trimmed with lace and wit by William Ivey Long. She gets there with help from the powerful theater producer and sometime lover Oscar Jaffe.

Now Oscar, played by Peter Gallagher with just the right egomaniacal spin and scary glint in his eye, is broke. He needs Lily for his next project about Mary Magdalene, so he books a neighboring compartment on the train.

But a rival producer, Max Jacobs (James Moye) wants Lily for his project about high society. Which will Lily choose? That sets up one of a few elaborate and hysterical production numbers ingeniously choreographed by Warren Carlyle. Four tap-dancing porters add their own percussive and precise delight.

Lending sterling support as Oscar’s right-hand “musketeers” are Mark Linn-Baker and Michael McGrath. Mary Louise Wilson lets her inner rascal out as a fanatical, off-kilter millionaire who promises to back Oscar’s movie. And Andy Karl (remember him as the best thing about “Rocky”?) adds big laughs and huge biceps, along with some ace physical comedy, as Lily’s boy toy Bruce Granit.

In the show’s title song, it comes out that the Twentieth Century famously gives passengers “nothing but the best.” This production, fizzy and dizzy entertainment, does likewise.

New York Daily News

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

American Airlines Theatre

(3/15/2015 - 7/19/2015)
Associate Sound Design: Jason Strangfeld(Jul 7, 2015 - Jul 19, 2015), Josh Staines(Jun 23, 2015 - Jul 5, 2015).

Stage Manager: Matthew Lacey(Jun 30, 2015 - Jul 19, 2015); Assistant Stage Mgr: Samantha Fremer(Jun 28, 2015 - Jul 19, 2015).

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