On the Twentieth Century

On the Twentieth Century

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On the Twentieth Century

The 1978 Broadway musical On the Twentieth Century is an adaptation of Twentieth Century, the 1932 straight play and comic farce by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur (in turn based on the unproduced play The Napoleon of Broadway by Charles Bruce Millholland) about Oscar Jaffe, a flamboyant theatrical producer on his uppers, who boards the 20th Century Limited train for a cross-country trip during which he hopes to lure his former protégé, the film star Lily Garland, also on board, back to the stage, and thereby return to solvency. The 1934 film version directed by Howard Hawks, and starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard, was a classic, and lyricist/librettists Betty Comden and Adolph Green transfer much of its tone to the musical. They are well suited to do so, as veterans of sketch comedy and also the screenwriters of the similarly toned movie musical Singin' in the Rain, another send-up of Hollywood. This is broad comedy requiring larger than life, over the top performances, and it gets them from John Cullum, channeling Barrymore, and Madeline Kahn, who is both a remarkable soprano and a remarkable comedienne. Another veteran is composer Cy Coleman, although he has not worked with Comden and Green previously. Coleman is a highly adaptable writer, and he mixes operetta with some '30s jazz styles effectively in his music. This is not the sort of show that an audience is going to think much about after leaving the theater, and this is not a cast album of songs that will be memorable outside the context of the show. But when it's going on, the show works like gangbusters, and the album serves as a good souvenir.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/19/1991
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074643533027
catalogNumber: 35330

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Judy Kaye   Vocals,cast
David Horowitz   Vocals,cast
Rufus Smith   cast
Joe Wise   Track Performer
Keith Davis   Track Performer,cast
Karen Gibson   Vocals,cast
Madeline Kahn   Vocals,Track Performer,cast
Susan Cella   Vocals,cast
George Coe   Track Performer,cast
John Cullum   Vocals,Track Performer,cast
Imogene Coca   Vocals,Track Performer,cast
Carol Lurie   Vocals,cast
Gerald Teijello   Vocals
Dave Vogel   Vocals
Melanie Vaughan   Vocals,cast
Kevin Kline   Vocals,Track Performer
Craig Lucas   Vocals,cast
George Lee Andrews   Vocals,cast
Peggy Cooper   cast
Stanley Simmonds   Track Performer,cast
William Burke   cast
Charles Rule   Vocals,cast
David A. Vogel   cast
Hal Norman   Vocals,cast
Kenneth Hilliard   cast
Orchestra   Track Performer
Mel Johnson   cast

Technical Credits

Cy Coleman   Composer,Producer
Betty Comden   Composer,Lyricist
Mike Danner   translation
Didier C. Deutsch   Engineer
Paul Gemignani   Director,Musical Director
Adolph Green   Composer,Lyricist
Frank Laico   Engineer
Hershy Kay   Orchestration
Harold Prince   Director
Tom Carlson   Liner Notes
Floriana Bivona-Lockner   translation
Genevieve Haines   translation
Ted Brosnan   Remixing
Ken Mandelbaum   Liner Notes
Clive Barnes   Liner Notes
Stanley Tonkel   Engineer,Remixing

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On the Twentieth Century 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green is classic Broadway of the late 70's. This is a Broadway show which led the way to greater shows with effects from Director Harold Prince, (AKA: The Prince of Broadway). The effects of a train on a Broadway stage was unforgetable, and will be hard to replicate again. truly a Broadway classic. Thanks to Sony for keeping this classic alive.