The Roundabout Theatre Company, whose revivals of Cabaret and Anything Goes have helped bolster Broadway’s biggest nonprofit producer, plans to showcase Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked) and Peter Gallagher (American Beauty) in the Cy Coleman/Betty Comden and Adolph Green musical On The Twentieth Century, beginning next February at the company’s Times Square home base, the American Airlines Theatre. Design team includes David Rockwell (sets), Donald Holder (lighting) and William Ivey Long (costumes). Scott Ellis will direct, with choreography by Warren Carlyle. Ellis and Carlyle previously staged the Roundabout’s critically acclaimed but box office flop The Mystery Of Edwin Drood. Show replaces previously announced Noises Off, postponed to the next season.
Hal Prince staged the original production, which opened at the St. James in February 1978 with a cast that included the delicious Madeline Kahn and conniving John Cullum in the roles to be played by Chenoweth and Gallagher: film star Lily Garland and desperate-for-a-comeback Broadway producer (and Lily’s former beau) Oscar Jaffee. Most of the action takes place on the Twentieth Century Limited train from Chicago to New York. The original cast also included Imogene Coca, Kevin Kline and Judy Kaye, with Tony wins for the witty book and score, Robin Wagner’s Art Deco-inspired sets, Cullum and Kline.
Twentieth Century was based on plays by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur and Bruce Mulholland. The show was reprised for a one-night stand at the New Amsterdam in 2005.