New York | 2h 30m | Already closed

On the Twentieth Century

From 31 critic and 130 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Clever

About the show

Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth and Golden Globe winner Peter Gallagher star as a temperamental actress and an egomaniacal impresario in a revival of the Tony-winning musical comedy. More…

It’s nonstop laughs aboard the Twentieth Century, a luxury train traveling from Chicago to New York City. Luck, love and mischief collide when the bankrupt theater producer Oscar Jaffee embarks on a madcap mission to cajole glamorous Hollywood starlet Lily Garland into playing the lead in his new, non-existent epic drama. But is the train ride long enough to reignite the spark between these former lovers, create a play from scratch, and find the money to get it all the way to Broadway?

2h 30m | Already closed | American Airlines Theatre (Midtown W)

New York Post

"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

New York Daily News

"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

USA Today

"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

Reading Eagle

"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

Broadway Showbiz

"There is a stunning musical at The American Airlines theatre that is such perfection, I am hoping it will run forever. The stellar cast exceeds all expectations...The show is perfection and I hope it will extend for a 20 year run as it is that good! See it. It will make you realize what a great show is. Brava to all involved." Full Review


"The entire production under the direction of Scott Ellis is magical. The cast, the costumes, the sets, the orchestra, the orchestrations, the choreography all combine to create pure musical bliss...Don't dawdle on getting your tickets to this sumptuous feast. You will be kicking yourself if you miss this one." Full Review

The New York Times

"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

New York Theatre Guide

"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

Simon Parris Man in Chair

"All aboard for a generous slice of music theatre heaven as Roundabout Theatre Company revive decedent backstage musical 'On The Twentieth Century'...a delectably daffy return to the heyday of glamorous train travel. 'On The Twentieth Century' is manna from theatrical heaven for lovers of classic musical theatre. Don’t miss the train." Full Review

Epoch Times

"The overall direction by Scott Ellis and choreography by Warren Carlyle are outstanding because we are constantly surprised in this production...This fast-paced revival is one for the books and should head for Tonyland. It provides a great evening of musical theater." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"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

New York Theater

“'On The Twentieth Century' turns out to be one of the funniest and most entertaining shows on 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


"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


"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


"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

NY Theatre Guide

"'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

Entertainment Weekly

"Roundabout Theatre Company's ultimate chase-the-blues-away confection...It’s hard to remember a recent production in which the cast was so uniquely suited to each and every role...In fact, On the Twentieth Century is so generous a vehicle (pun completely intended), it even lets the porters have a bona fide showstopper. It’s one of many affectionate moments you’ll be reflecting on later, wishing life was this train." 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

Harper's Bazaar

"'On The Twentieth Century', now open on Broadway, is a razzle-dazzle revival of all things gimmick and glitter, but certainly entertaining...As the plot moves fast and furiously, the show's wit is sustained with polish and pomp...this train makes few wrong turns and is worth a trip on the Great White Way." Full Review

Time Out New York

"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

The Wall Street Journal

"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

Chicago Tribune

"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

Stage Buddy

"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

AM New York

"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

New York Magazine / Vulture

"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

Must see, Great singing, Great acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if You love Kristin Chenoweth and a show that will make you laugh!

Don't see it if You don't have sense of humor.

Must see, Epic, Great acting, Great singing, Hilarious

See it if you're a fan of Chenoweth and want to see her KILL it in this amazing, funny production. Expect great singing and acting.

Don't see it if nothing. Just watch it.

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a rarely revived great musical from the 70s w amazing staging & a terrific cast

Don't see it if you like small, intimate shows.

Also This was easily (along w. Hamilton) the best show I saw last year. The... Read more Read less

Hilarious, Fluffy, Great acting, Funny, Clever

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.

Original, Refreshing, Great acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if The performances were wonderful. The stage and pros were amazing. Songs were perfect.

Don't see it if If you do not like musicals

Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You love kristin chenoweth her preformance is incredible and if you want a fun time at the theater great songs like the original and funny

Don't see it if You have no personality and don't enjoy revivals or if you have no taste at all

Hilarious, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you are a Kristen Chenowith fan!! She is amazing & the cast just rises to match her performance level...Peter Gallagher is no slouch either!

Don't see it if SEE IT...It ended up being my 17 year old's favorite so far and she's see at least 20+ plays

Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if you love, love, love kristin chenoweth! The dynamic between her and Peter Gallagher was fantastic.

Don't see it if you don't like "old time" shows

Must see, Hilarious, Masterful, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You love musicals or any kind of theater. One of the best shows I have seen

Don't see it if N/A

Entertaining, Great music, Hilarious, Great acting, Delightful

See it if want to go an highly entertaining ride with great music performances

Don't see it if you don't like slap-stick map-cap comedy

Entertaining, Must see, Masterful, Riveting, Original

See it if best show I've ever seen

Don't see it if can be a bit outdated at times with some of the jokes and themes.

Refreshing, Hilarious, Funny, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if You are looking for unadulterated fun. Chenoweth and Gallagher are on point every minute with delightful staging thrown in.

Don't see it if Can't think of a single reason

Exquisite, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if You love a classic-style musical. You want a show with one of the catchiest scores on the planet. You want to have a great time.

Don't see it if You're a real fuddy-duddy.

Also I LOVED this show. My favorite show of the season by far. It was just ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great staging, Hilarious, Masterful, Must see

See it if you have a pulse. just go.

Don't see it if you are dead

Romantic, Funny, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

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.

Must see, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Delightful

See it if You like classic musicals, enjoy excellent music, are fans of Kristin Chenoweth and overall excellent performances.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals... What's not to love about this show?

Great score, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if love great entertainment and talent.

Don't see it if if you don't like funny musicals

Great staging, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you like Kristen Chennoweth, tap, big characters and funny writing. Its a blast!

Don't see it if you don't like over the top big broadway fun

Delightful, Clever, Great acting, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy classic musicals that don't take themselves too seriously and want a good laugh.

Don't see it if If you're looking for something deep and though-provoking.

Delightful, Hilarious, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy classical musicals and want something light-hearted with a lot of laughs.

Don't see it if You prefer modern musicals/want something deep.

Refreshing, Great staging, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You love old fashioned musicals.

Don't see it if You don't like sugary and sappy plots.

Great staging, Great acting, Funny, Exquisite, Enchanting

See it if you can go back to last year and see Kristin Chenoweth do it

Don't see it if you hate screwball

Great singing, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you like operetta-style pieces and love Kristin Chenoweth!

Don't see it if you want something more serious.

Delightful, Funny, Entertaining, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You love Kristin Chenoweth and enjoy classic operettas.

Don't see it if You are looking to see a fresh, original new musical.

Delightful, Exquisite, Hilarious, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a funny and fun musical with some awesome tap dancing as well.

Don't see it if You do not like musicals. You only like serious things.

Cast & Creatives

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