Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth embodies Lily Garland, a role created by her idol Madeline Kahn, in Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century, playing now through July 19 at the American Airlines Theatre.
The comic-opera score by Cy Coleman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, is used to express the larger-than-life characters of flamboyant Broadway producer Oscar Jaffe and Lily, a movie star he hopes to con into signing with him for a new show. All the action takes place aboard a luxury train ride from Chicago to New York where, as title song says, "Life and love and luck may be changed, hope renewed, and fate rearranged." In Twentieth Century, Chenoweth, a Tony Award winner for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and a Tony nominee for Wicked, plays Lily Garland opposite film, television and Broadway star Gallagher ("The O.C," "American Beauty," Guys and Dolls, The Country Girl) as Oscar Jaffe.
The cast also features Tony nominee Andy Karl (Rocky) as Bruce Granit, Mark Linn‐Baker (You Can't Take It With You) as Oliver Webb, Michael McGrath (Nice Work If You Can Get It) as Owen O'Malley and Tony winner Mary Louise Wilson (Grey Gardens) as Letitia Primrose with Phillip Attmore (After Midnight), Justin Bowen (Chaplin), Preston Truman Boyd (Bullets Over Broadway), Paula Leggett Chase (Bye Bye Birdie), Ben Crawford (Big Fish), Rick Faugno (Show Boat with the New York Philharmonic), Jenifer Foote (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Bahiyah Hibah (Chicago), Drew King (Broadway debut, On Your Toes at Encores!), Analisa Leaming (Broadway debut, Pipe Dream), Kevin Ligon (Bullets Over Broadway), Erica Mansfield (Pippin), James Moye (Bullets Over Broadway), Linda Mugleston (Cinderella), Mamie Parris (Wicked), Andy Taylor (Once), Jim Walton (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Richard Riaz Yoder (White Christmas).
Roundabout associate artistic director Scott Ellis (a six-time Tony Award nominee for She Loves Me, Steel Pier, 1776, Twelve Angry Men, Curtains, The Mystery of Edwin Drood) directs On the Twentieth Century with choreography by Warren Carlyle, a Tony Award winner for After Midnight.
The musical — featuring music by Cy Coleman and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green — premiered on Broadway in 1978 under the direction of Harold Prince and won Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical.
Here's how Roundabout bills the classic: "It's nonstop laughs aboard the Twentieth Century, a luxury coach travelling from Chicago to New York City. Luck, love and mischief collide when the bankrupt theater producer Oscar Jaffe (Gallagher) embarks on a madcap mission to cajole glamorous Hollywood starlet Lily Garland (Chenoweth) into playing the lead in his new, non-existent epic drama. But is the train ride long enough to reignite the spark between these former lovers, create a play from scratch, and find the money to get it all the way to Broadway?"
The design team includes David Rockwell (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes), Donald Holder (lights), Jon Weston (sound), Kevin Stites (musical director), Larry Hochman (orchestrations) and David Krane (dance arrangements and incidental music).
The American Airlines Theatre on Broadway is located at 227 West 42nd Street. For tickets, call (212) 719-1300 or visit RoundaboutTheatre.org.