The Roundabout’s much-anticipated revival of On The Twentieth Century opened on Sunday. What did critics think of this musical farce that follows a luxury coach traveling from Chicago to New York City? This is what the critics had to say…
“In the theater, there is overacting, which is common and painful to watch. Then there’s over-the-moon acting, which is rare and occupies its own special cloud land in heaven. I am delighted to report that this latter art is being practiced in altitudinous-high style at the American Airlines Theater, where Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher are surfing the stratosphere in “On the Twentieth Century.
Scott Ellis’s ripping, lavishly appointed revival of this 1978 musical about dueling giant egos on a train between Chicago and New York — which opened on Sunday night in a Roundabout Theater Company production — knows that when it comes to being hyperbolic, there’s no people like show people.” The New York Times
“Next stop, Broadway musical bliss. That’s where the Roundabout revival of “On the Twentieth Century,” directed with verve by Scott Ellis, takes you. The setting for this fast-paced, flab-free screwball operetta by Cy Coleman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green is a luxury coach en route from Chicago to New York in the 1930s. The stylish state-of-the-art locomotive by David Rockwell gleams in brilliant Art Deco glory. But that’s nothing compared to the practically nuclear glow that comes off Kristin Chenoweth, whose singular talent and skills are tailor-made for a role originated on Broadway in 1978 by Madeline Kahn.” New York Daily News
“There are a million big reasons that On the Twentieth Century, the 1978 musical by Cy Coleman and Comden and Green, shouldn’t work today: It’s profoundly silly, tonally tricky, too big for the market, and a very hard sing. Indeed, the Roundabout’s delicious revival at the American Airlines crashes intermittently into most of those problems. But there’s nevertheless one small reason — about four-foot-eleven — it works anyway: Kristin Chenoweth. She is a comic genius in a role ideally suited to her gifts.” Vulture
“Scott Ellis’s dazzling production of “On the Twentieth Century” looks like one of those legendary Broadway musicals that exists largely in our collective memory of great shows we never saw. Like those phantom productions, this 1978 tuner comes with a fine pedigree (book & lyrics by Comden & Green, music by Cy Coleman), has been mounted in high style and is performed with manic energy by a super cast toplined by charismatic stars Kirsten Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher. For a lot of us, this is the show of our dreams.” Variety