On The Twentieth Century - Productions

Productions

Following a Boston tryout at the Colonial Theatre, the Broadway production, directed by Hal Prince and choreographed by Larry Fuller, opened on February 19, 1978 at the St. James Theatre to mixed reviews. It ran for 11 previews and 449 performances. The opening night cast included John Cullum, Madeline Kahn, Imogene Coca, and Kevin Kline.

After only nine weeks, Kahn departed the show. The New York Times reported, on April 25, 1978, that Kahn had left the show the day before, and "she said she was withdrawing because of damage to her vocal cords." She was replaced by understudy Judy Kaye, who had been playing a small supporting role, and the critics were invited to return. According to the New York Times, "Judy Kaye replaced Madeline Kahn...and bang, boom, overnight she is a star." They praised her performance, and Kaye's theatrical career took off. She later starred in the US tour opposite Rock Hudson.

A London production, produced by Harold Fielding, and starring Keith Michell as Oscar Jaffe, Julia McKenzie as Lily Garland, Mark Wynter as Bruce Granit and Ann Beach as Mrs. Primrose, opened on March 19, 1980, at Her Majesty's Theatre, The Haymarket and ran for 165 performances. Dora Bryan had originally been cast as Mrs. Primrose, but was replaced by Beach a week before previews due to a difference of opinion with the American producers about her performance.

The show has never been revived on Broadway; however, as part of an Actors Fund benefit, a one-night-only staged concert was held on September 26, 2005 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The production starred Marin Mazzie as Lily, Douglas Sills as Oscar, Joanne Worley as Letitia Primrose and Christopher Sieber as Bruce, as well as appearances by Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Max Jacobs, Cheyenne Jackson as one of the "Life is Like a Train" porters, and Kathleen Turner as Imelda.

The first inner London revival was staged at the Union Theatre, Southwark, running December 14, 2010 to January 15, 2011. Howard Samuels plays Oscar Jaffee and Rebecca Vere is Lily Garland. Directed by Ryan McBryde, with choreography by Drew McOnie and design by Diego Pitarch.

In March 2011, it was reported that Roundabout Theatre Company had a reading, with Hugh Jackman, Kristin Chenoweth, and Andrea Martin participating

On May 6, 2011, Kristin Chenoweth released a statement stating:

"I'm involved in a reading of a show that I'm very interested in doing about Tammy Faye Baker. We're going to revive On the Twentieth Century, and I'm going to know a lot more, in about two weeks, about when that will be! You know everybody knows how I feel about Broadway and how much I love it, and I'm lucky that I get to consider what kinds of things that I would like to do. Obviously, I love to do original stuff, but On the Twentieth Century a part that I've been wanting to play, and it seems like a really good fit."

On September 13, 2011, Kristin Chenoweth mentioned on The View that she will be returning to Broadway to revive On the Twentieth Century.

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