On the Twentieth Century Still on Track Despite Gallagher’s Illness

th-25Peter Gallagher has been out of On the Twentieth Century since last Saturday (February 21) when the Roundabout was forced to cancel the evening performance. Gallagher is reported to be suffering from a severe sinus infection, which has affected his ability to sing.

James Moye, his understudy, has been playing the role of Oscar Jaffe since Sunday, February 22. When Gallagher became too ill to perform director Scott Ellis decided that it would be dangerous for Moye to perform Saturday night due to where they were in the development of the production. Thus, Saturday night’s show was cancelled.

Kristin Chenoweth (Lily Garland) and Ellis came out to announce the cancellation of the performance. After the announcement, Chenoweth sang “Smile” for the Saturday night audience and then a dance number was performed from the show that featured the porters. It brought the house down. After that, the audience was dismissed and Moye rehearsed and was ready to go on Sunday afternoon.

In 1978, when On the Twentieth Century premiered, it won numerous Tonys including Best Musical and Best Score. With music by Cy Coleman and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, the musical offers audiences a screwball comedy that is set aboard the luxury train the Twentieth Century.

Oscar Jaffe, a producer who has suffered a series of Broadway flops, is on the fabled train with his former muse, love, and Broadway star Lily Garland. Garland gave up the stage to be a film star and Jaffe firmly believes that if he can get her to commit to star in a new Broadway show that his career will be saved. Add to that plot a group of unique characters, great dance numbers and songs, and a whole lot of creative scenography and directing, and you’ve got a hit Broadway show.

The Roundabout production is the first Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century. It is scheduled to open March 12 and run until July 5.

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On the Twentieth Century Derailed Saturday Night Back on Schedule for Sunday

James Moye understudy for Peter Gallagher Twentieth Century

James Moye understudy for Peter Gallagher Twentieth Century

James Moye as Buddy rehearsing the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Elf in November 2014.

It’s been announced that the Roundabout’s revival of On the Twentieth Century at the American Airlines Theatre will be back on track today. The show did not go on last night as one of the stars, Peter Gallagher, was unable to perform due to vocal problems. It’s been reported that Gallagher has been rehearsing and performing all week with a cold and that it finally got the best of him. To complicate things, the understudy was not yet ready to perform. That combination of factors meant that the performance had to be cancelled.

Brakes Put on Last Minute

Although some audience members were irritated that the cancellation of On the Twentieth Century was announced right about curtain time, Kristin Chenoweth, who came out to make the announcement with director Scott Ellis, made every effort to smooth things over.

After explaining the predicament, Chenoweth offered the sold out house a rendition of the Charlie Chaplin classic “Smile.” Then she asked the four actors who play the porters in On the Twentieth Century to come out and they performed the tap dance number “Life is Like a Train”. It was a huge audience pleaser.

Tough Sell

It’s not easy to cancel a performance on a Saturday night, which is the most attended performance time of the theatre week, but due to the fact that the show is still in previews Gallagher’s understudy, James Moye, was not fully rehearsed. This is not unusual to have this situation at this point in the production process, as the show is still being refined and changes continue to be made. Plus, along with learning Gallagher’s role, Moye, who is part of the ensemble, must know his ensemble duties in the show.

The Show Will Go On

The latest news from On the Twentieth Century is that Moye rehearsed last night after the cancellation and will be able to perform in Gallagher’s stead. Showtime is 2 pm. Gallagher is day-to-day.

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Roundabout Broadway Revival On the Twentieth Century Previews Tonight

On the Twentieth Century Chenoweth & Gallagher Previews

On the Twentieth Century  Chenoweth & Gallagher Previews

On the Twentieth Century was to preview February 12th.

The Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century, which was supposed to preview February 12, previews tonight. The Friday the 13th initial public performance, which is an odd one for those in the theatre, who are often quite superstitious, has been much anticipated due to the fact that two of Broadway’s most respected musical talents, Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher, are playing opposite one another.

The Musical

On the Twentieth Century, which won five Tonys when it was first produced on Broadway in 1978, featured John Cullum, Madeline Khan, Imogene Coca, and Kevin Kline. The musical won Tonys for Best Book and Best Score. It has a book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Cy Coleman.

The show is a crazy screwball comedy in which a down and out Broadway producer named Oscar Jaffe (Gallagher) attempts to convince his former lover and muse, Lily Garland (Chenoweth), to commit to play Mary Magdalene in a nonexistent Broadway drama. Jaffe believes that such a deal can resurrect his career, which is in a shambles. Garland, who is now a big Hollywood star, plays hard to get. The plot becomes exceedingly complex as they ride the luxury train, the Twentieth Century, across the country. Jaffe has various impediments thwarting his efforts, including Garland’s jealous, young lover and an out-of-control religious fanatic. It is a wild comedy on rails.

The Principals

On the Twentieth Century, which is scheduled for a limited run ending July 5 and will officially open March 12, is directed by Scott Ellis and will play at the American Airlines Theatre. Chenoweth, who is a Tony and Emmy winner, and Gallagher, Who is a Tony nominee, are joined by Tony nominee Andy Karl, Mark Linn-Baker and Tony winners Michael McGrath and Mary Louise Wilson.

Break a leg to all involved in On the Twentieth Century!

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Broadway Revival of On the Twentieth Century Delays First Preview

On the Twentieth Century preview postponed. until Feb 13

On the Twentieth Century preview postponed. until Feb 13

On the Twentieth Century preview postponed until Feb. 13.

The weather has not been kind to On the Twentieth Century, the Roundabout’s revival starring Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher. The musical farce, which won five Tonys when it premiered on Broadway in 1978, is now in rehearsals for its first Broadway revival. The first preview has been postponed by one day and is now set for February 13.

The show, which is scheduled to open March 12 at the American Airlines Theatre, is to have a limited run and will close on July 5, 2015. Along with Chenoweth and Gallagher, the Roundabout production also includes Andy Karl (Bruce Granit), Mark Linn-Baker (Oliver Webb), Michael McGrath (Owen O’Malley), Mary Louise Wilson (Letitia Primrose), and an ensemble of 18.

The Show

Gallagher and Chenoweth.

Gallagher and Chenoweth.

With music by Cy Coleman and lyrics and book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, the show, which is set on the luxury train The Twentieth Century, involves a desperate Broadway producer, Oscar Jaffe (Gallagher), attempting to convince a former Broadway now Hollywood star, Lily Garland (Chenoweth), to return to The Great White way in an epic drama about Mary Magdalene. The show does not exist, but Jaffe, who has had four flops in a row, is desperate to re-establish his reputation on Broadway, and he needs his former lover and muse under contract in order to have the juice to do so. Add to the mix a young, jealous, and not so bright Hollywood leading man, a religious fanatic, and a whole lot of other folks who simply complicate everything and you’ve got a screwball comedy.

The Production

The Broadway premiere of On the Twentieth Century opened on February 19, 1978 at the St. James Theatre and ran for 11 previews and 448 performances. It starred John Cullum, Madeline Khan, Imogene Coca, and Kevin Kline. Hal Prince directed, as the show won Tonys for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. Cullum and Kline also won Tonys.

The Roundabout production includes additional lyrics by Amanda Green, direction by Scott Ellis, and choreography by Warren Carlyle.

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