Thursday, May 28, 2015

On The Twentieth Century

The role of Lily Garland was a showcase for the divine Madeline Kahn. Legends say that a combination of health problems and creative differences led to Kahn's departure 9 weeks into the run. She was replaced by the delightful Judy Kaye and the show lasted 449 performances.

On the Twentieth Century won Tony's for book, score, and leading men, but soon disappeared. Without a star leading lady critics felt their wasn't much point in reviving it. Marin Mazzie headlined a concert in 2005 and Kristin Chenoweth is dominating the current revival. She faces steep competition in the Tony race but the new cast recording suggests that her performance is dynamite!

"Some thought of On the Twentieth Century as Kiss Me, Kate on a train. But the earlier show, despite its marvelous score, mixes a messy chowder of Shakespeare, operetta and vaudeville, while the later show is above all consistent. ~ Ethan Mordden. One More Kiss: The Broadway Musical in the 1970s. 

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