Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche will bring back Twentieth Century for a one-night-only benefit reading next month at Broadway’s Studio 54: The two actors will reprise their roles from a 2004 Roundabout Theatre production of the classic 1932 Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur comedy.
The event is set for Monday, April 29, 7:30 pm at the Roundabout’s Studio 54 theater. Walter Bobbie, who directed the 2004 production, will be back in the same capacity for the reading.
The announcement was made today by Todd Haimes, Roundabout Theatre Company’s Artistic Director/CEO. All proceeds benefit the not-for-profit Roundabout Theatre Company and its programs. Tickets go on sale today.
As with the 2004 revival, the benefit will use playwright Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of the Hecht-MacArthur comedy. Additional cast members and creative team will be announced soon. (The 2004 cast also included Dan Butler, Julie Halston and the late Tom Aldredge; Heche and Aldredge, who died in 2011, were Tony-nominated for their performances).
As Roundabout describes Twentieth Century: Bankrupt, with his career on a downslide, egomaniacal Broadway director Oscar Jaffee (Baldwin) boards the Twentieth Century Limited and encounters his former discovery and ex-chorus girl Lily Garland (Heche), now a temperamental Hollywood star. He’ll do anything to get her back under contract and back in his bed, but his former protégé will have nothing to do with him. All of the action takes place on board the legendary Twentieth Century train from Chicago to New York City where Oscar has 20 hours to persuade Lily to return to Broadway in his upcoming show. If he fails, it’s the end of the line.
The 2004 production of Twentieth Century kicked off Baldwin’s continuing association with the Roundabout: He subsequently starred as “Ed” in Entertaining Mr. Sloane at the Roundabout’s Off Broadway Laura Pels Theatre. He currently serves on the Roundabout’s Board of Directors.