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Jackman & Chenoweth Star in ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY Reading



Variety.com is reporting that Hugh Jackman, Kristin Chenoweth and Andrea Martin co-starred in a recent Roundabout Theatre Company reading of ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. Though readings are often considered precursors to Broadway productions, there has been no official word about the reading, or the possibilities of a future production, with or without those stars.  

ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY involves the behind-the-scenes relationship of a temperamental actress turned Hollywood starlet named Lily Garland and the down-and-out  theatrical impresario, Oscar Jaffe, who once made her a star.  It has been referred to as part operetta, part farce and part screw-ball comedy.  Cy Coleman, who originally refused when asked to compose the score, changed his mind when he discovered the larger-than-life personalities of the main characters.  The location of the play drew him, as well. Set on the 20th Century Limited, a steam engine bound for New York City, Coleman explained that the rhythm and patter of the locomotive created the music.  "I thought - ah! comic opera!"

Though rarely performed, ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, which opened on Broadway in 1978 starring John CullumMadeline KahnImogene Coca and Kevin Kline, earned multiple Tony Awards including Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Scenic Design and Best Actor for both Cullum and Kline. 



Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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