"In the theater, there is overacting. 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...Scott Ellis’s ripping, lavishly appointed revival of this 1978 musical about dueling giant egos knows that when it comes to being hyperbolic, there’s no people like show people...sit back, relax and savor the blissfully bumpy ride in luxury accommodations." Full Review
"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...For a lot of us, this is the show of our dreams...The plot is pure screwball comedy with some classic farce moves for broader chuckles." Full Review
"The 1978 musical itself is written in an affectionately arch style that combines comic operetta with farce and screwball sex-battle comedy...The action and the notes are at a higher pitch than we’re used to...'On the Twentieth Century' may be a cartoon, but it’s a Hirschfeld cartoon, and worth a trip." Full Review
"Gloriously revived by the Roundabout Theatre Company, this 1978 musical is a fast-paced romp...Set entirely on the 20th Century Limited train from Chicago to New York, the show barrels down the tracks to theatrical bliss...All told, “On the Twentieth Century” is on track to score big at Tony Awards time. Buy your tickets before the train leaves the station." Full Review
"Scott Ellis' staging of this 1978 musical comedy gem is marred a bit by occasional stylistic slips, but, for the majority of its running time, this is strictly a pleasure excursion...It has been a gift from the theatre gods to have two Comden and Green shows this season. Their special brand of malice-free satire is on full display here, and what a glorious thing it is. I don't care if it is March; if you see it, you're practically guaranteed to leave the theatre in a holiday mood." Full Review
“'On The Twentieth Century' turns out to be one of the funniest and most entertaining shows on Broadway...an electrifying mix of the glamorous and the hilarious...Director Scott Ellis and choreographer Warren Carlyle make the most of both the slapstick mayhem and the razzmatazz, sometimes simultaneously." Full Review
"There are a lot of reasons to pick up the phone NOW and get tickets to this production...this musical is a predictable piece of fluff that Scott Ellis has whipped up into a soufflé of extraordinary proportions. It is as fine a production as you will find anywhere. And if musicals are your preferred theatrical flavor, you will be in h-e-a-v-e-n." Full Review
"Most of this production looks as though neither engineer nor conductor has bothered to check in on it for a while...When it comes to consistency and comedy, the fires simply haven’t been stoked at all...'On the Twentieth Century' is, at best, a lower-second-tier musical that’s more likely than not to go off the rails if not treated with the utmost care. It has not received that care this time around." Full Review
"So you’re looking for a good time? Look no more: The Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of “On the Twentieth Century” is is the best musical to hit Broadway since 'On the Town'... it’s a fluffy exercise in high-octane pleasure, blessedly devoid of deep thought and certain to satisfy anyone not congenitally po-faced... 'On the Twentieth Century' isn’t perfect—but it’ll do quite well enough." Full Review
"The Roundabout Theatre Company's new production doesn't live up to all that the musical could be theatrically, musically and comically. That being said, the production is still pretty damn enjoyable. To speak metaphorically, the glass may not be full, but it's certainly more than half full." Full Review
"This strained farce is a musical stubbornly lacking in locomotion, its steam engine spouting plumes of desperation. While director Scott Ellis has a proven track record with comedy, he's off his game in this belabored revival...People sitting near me were roaring with laughter, so the show's cornball humor was obviously working for some. But while I was ready to be taken on a delirious musical journey, the train never leaves the station." Full Review
"Especially when it moves and sings it sparkles like new, with each small detail detailed as if for the first time. But not everything works...The score, like the somewhat wayward script, only coheres under certain conditions, few of which are available anymore." Full Review
"Next stop, Broadway musical bliss. That’s where the Roundabout revival of “On the Twentieth Century,” directed with verve by Scott Ellis, takes you...In the show’s title song, it comes out that the Twentieth Century famously gives passengers 'nothing but the best.' This production, fizzy and dizzy entertainment, does likewise." Full Review
"It deserves as long a run one could wish for a charmingly silly homage to the old-fashioned operettas that were once a mainstay of Broadway but whose time had long since passed when the show opened in 1978...Scott Ellis’s production works very hard at solving the show’s problems, with mixed success...'On The 20th Century' reveals Comden and Green in their twilight, the brilliant magic evident, but fading." Full Review
"Count on having a fine time...The show boasts plenty of show stopping, eye-popping and ear caressing star power...When On the Twentieth Century, the musical first opened on Broadway in 1978, Variety noted that it indicated an increasing tendency for Broadway shows to stress grandiose spectacles. Since then the economy has forced those spectacles to make room for more modest productions, making an occasional spectacle like this one spectacularly enjoyable." Full Review
"This revival won't convert detractors who think this material tired or second tier, and it makes no great revisionist play for its source. But there's a lot to admire about this production for extant fans of old musicals...None of this would travel though, without the clarity of the Ellis storytelling, the real fire in the engine here." Full Review
"If, indeed, the 1978 musical-comedy has been saving itself for just the right mad screwball alchemy, then, all right, this was worth the wait. Ego, love and the lovingly egomaniacal theatricality of theater people are the subjects of the Roundabout Theatre Company's breathlessly charming revival of a show about which, I admit, I never before have felt the slightest bit bonkers...Lovely, all lovely." Full Review
“'On the Twentieth Century' isn’t a great musical, but it does offer great opportunities for actors to prove why they’re stars – or not stars...Comden and Green’s book inspires more smiles than belly laughs, and Coleman’s music borrows from everybody but himself at his best. 'On the Twentieth Century' needs stars, and for the most part this production delivers them express." Full Review
"The show has a solid base. But this production, with an ideal cast and inventive direction by Scott Ellis, just takes off, surging like the 20th Century Limited train on which it's set. Considering it has the most meager of stories, it's amazing how locked in we get...A grand solo number 'Repent' signifies the nonstop pleasures of the show. It doesn't advance the story, but that doesn't matter because it's such a hoot entirely on its own. Like the whole evening, it's just fun." Full Review
"The Roundabout Theatre production is a sizzling, sumptuous entertainment...Director Scott Ellis has reimagined the show with kinetic, retro-perfect sophistication and style...All the elements of this 'Century' combine to make a musical, manic train ride that truly puts the 'loco' in locomotion." Full Review
"It’s obvious that the company went all out in putting together this star-studded show...'On the Twentieth Century' is far from being subtle, but boy does it have fun making its point...As directed by Scott Ellis, the show takes its time finding its pace...It makes you completely forget about the world outside for a few minutes, and while life is indeed nothing like a train, you can’t help but want to chug along with them." Full Review
"Fizzy, fabulous new revival...In this production, directed with giddy virtuosity by Scott Ellis, every player seems perfectly cast...this 'Twentieth Century' makes old-fashioned musical comedy magic feel entirely fresh." Full Review
"The musical comedy’s revival pleased the audience but fell short of its earlier incarnations...Even when the musical numbers are managed with superb speed, as they are in 'On the Twentieth Century', the Roundabout’s eager-to-please, hard-charging Broadway revival, there is a sense that a TGV has been downgraded to commuter-track velocity." Full Review
"'On the 20th Century' is a unique work. And in the Roundabout’s polished, lavish production, it’s a delight...It’s churlish to complain in the face of such a funny, tuneful, extravagant-looking work—one that was written after the golden age but behaves like a golden age classic. Musical comedy is back in town, hooray! Full Review
See it if you like good old-fashioned musical comedy/farce; a fun night of entertainment.
Don't see it if you dislike heightened comedy or characters that are not realistic or completely fleshed out
See it if you want to see a brilliant revival of a classic show; if you like tap dancing bellmen; if you want your face melted off by Ms. Chenoweth
Don't see it if you don't like funny, fluffy, madcap humor; if you want deeply developed, tortured characters
See it if you enjoy revivals that stay true to the original. Kristin Chenoweth was everything you could possibly want from a leading lady.
Don't see it if you don't enjoy classic, old school Broadway musicals.
See it if You love Alec Baldwin and Kristin Chenoweth, although they were disappointing in this show. you like old Broadway musicals.
Don't see it if You want to see a really good revival of a Broadway musical, you remember Chenoweth as a vivacious youthful performer.
See it if you have Hiptix and/or want some light entertainment. The way the train was staged was impressive. Kristin Chenoweth is always worth seeing.
Don't see it if you care about connecting to the characters. The plot got very muddled in the adaptation from the movie. Entertaining but empty. Bad lyrics.
See it if You want to see one of the funniest shows to hit Broadway in recent years, with amazing performances by Chenoweth, Gallagher, and Karl.
Don't see it if You have no stomach for farce or physical comedy.
See it if You are into belabored revivals with no memorable music. Even Kristin Chenowith couldn't save this one....
Don't see it if You have issues with the over acted slapstick type comedy or are looking for more than an old formulaic movie starlet focused plot
See it if Kristen Chenoweth, Peter Gallagher, Andy Karl and Mary Louise Wilson were fantastic. The sets were beautiful and intricate.
Don't see it if You don't like light hearted musicals. Although this is one is so good I'd ecommend it anyway. You might find that you like it.