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On The Twentieth Century (1978 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

42 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, November 19, 1991
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Editorial Reviews


Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Act I: Overture - Orchestra
  2. Act I: Stranded Again/Saddle Up The Horse/On The Twentieth Century - Charles Rule/Hal Norman/Ensemble/George Coe/Dean Dittman/Tom Batten...
  3. Act I: I Rise Again - John Cullum/George Coe/Dean Dittman
  4. Act I: Veronique - Madeline Kahn/John Cullum/Ensemble
  5. Act I: I Have Written A Play - Tom Batten
  6. Act I: Together - Ensemble/John Cullum
  7. Act I: Never - Madeline Kahn/George Coe/Dean Dittman
  8. Act I: Our Private World - John Cullum/Madeline Kahn
  9. Act I: Repent - Imagene Coca
  10. Act I: Mine - John Cullum/Kevin Kline
  11. Act I: I've Got It All - Madeline Kahn/John Cullum
  12. Act I: On The Twentieth Century (Reprise) - Company
  13. Act II: Entr' Acte: Life Is Like A Train - Keith Davis/Quitman Fludd III/Joseph Wise/Ray Stephens
  14. Act II: Five Zeros - George Coe/Dean Dittman/ Imogene Coca/John Cullum
  15. Act II: Sextet - George Coe/Dean Dittman/John Cullum/Imogene Coca/Madeline Kahn/Kevin Kline
  16. Act II: She's A Nut - John Cullum/Madeline Kahn/Imogene Coca/George Coe/Dean Dittman/Kevin Kline...
  17. Act II: Babbette - MADELINE KAHN
  18. Act II: The Legacy - John Cullum
  19. Act II: Lily, Oscar - Madeline Kahn/John Cullum/George Coe/Dean Dittman/Ensemble
  20. Act II: On The Twentieth Century (Reprise) - John Cullum/Madeline Kahn/Imogene Coca/George Coe/Dean Dittman/Kevin Kline...

Product Details

  • Performer: Betty Comden, Adolph Green
  • Audio CD (November 19, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000025D2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,226 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1998
Format: Audio CD
1978's "On the Twentieth Century"--a brilliant musicalization of the classic 1930s screwball comedy "20th Century"--is one of the most tuneful, intelligent, and flat-out funny musicals ever committed to disc. The score is by Cy Coleman (it may well be his best); the book and lyrics are by the immortal Betty Comden and Adolph Green, working at the top of their own inimitable form.
And what a cast! Stars John Cullum, Madeleine Kahn, Imogene Coca, and Kevin Kline turn in superb performances--and their obvious delight at having such delicious, often over-the-top material to work with comes across beautifully on the recording. Among the score's highlights: the lovely "Our Private World," The wonderfully egomaniacal "I've Got It All" and "Mine," Act II's "Sextet," the title song, and Imogene Coca's never-to-be-forgotten "Repent."
So: All aboard! This is a madcap musical ride you'll want to take again ! and again.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rosanna L. Bencoach on April 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Cy Coleman's opening notes evoke the power, feel, sounds and motion of a great train as it pulls out of the station and builds to top speed. And from that moment, this comic musical never slows down. Based on the classic John Barrymore - Carole Lombard comedy "Twentieth Century," the show centers on two strong characters: maniacal Broadway producer Oscar Jaffee (John Cullum), and his one-time protegee and lover Lily Garland (Madeline Kahn). As Oscar runs from his Chicago creditors after his latest flop, he orders his henchmen to get him drawing room "A" on the legendary train The Twentieth Century ("New York in sixteen hours/Anything can happen in those sixteen hours"). Oscar knows that Lily, now a movie star, and her current lover Bruce Granit (Kevin Kline) will soon be boarding and have reserved the adjoining room. If Oscar can sign Lily to do a new show with him, his career and reputation will be saved. Of course, Bruce has to try to stop Oscar from getting back into Lily's favor. In the meantime, a religious nut is loose on the train, slapping permanent-sticking stickers on even the most inaccessible locations ("Repent for the time is at hand"), everyone on the train seems to have a script they want to sell to the broke Oscar("I Have Written a Play, Mr. Jaffee"), and sweet little lady Letetia Primrose (Imogene Coca) may come to Oscar's aid ("Five Zeros").
Will Lily save Oscar's career? Do they still have feelings for each other? Will Oscar find a usable script to help him woo Lily? Listen to the album to find out.
My favorite numbers include: - The delight of the other passengers awaiting Lily's arrival in a number that spoofs our star-struck society.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jay Dickson VINE VOICE on September 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When ON THE 20th CENTURY came out in 1977 critics found the show olf-fashioned and thus largeky praised only the famous set by Robin Wagner; now that time has passed, the score (and the wonderful complement of singers Harold Prince found for the cast) has held up wonderfully--this work may show Cy Coleman and Comden and Green at the very top of their game. The music is spectacular, from the thrilling overture to the wonderfully tricky "Sextette" with its beautiful central melody of Lily's ("But how could I have known/ That love from way back when/ Would flood my life again") and of course to the superb comic songs written particularly for Madeline Kahn, "Never," "Veronique," and "Babette."
Kahn's performance on the cd is a revelation: although she had to be let go from the show a month into it because she reputedly refused to give her all to it in performance other than here and on opening night ("You don't expect me to do this every night, do you?" she supposedly told Prince after he congratulated her after the premiere), she shows fully here what might of been. Her performance here shows how much she deserved the praise given to her character, Lily Garland, by the train's starstruck fans when they see her in the score's great highlight, the swooningly evocative "Together": "Up till now just empty days/ Made up what I call my life/ But today's a day of days/ I'll remember all my life."
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Madeline Kahn originated the role of Lily Garland on Broadway, but she was let go just a few weeks into the run because of conflicts with Harold Prince. This was certainly too bad, because her performance on the Cast Recording of this show is one of the funniest ever--two songs in particular, "Veronique" and "Babette," are absolutely irresistible. In the first, Madeline as the nervous pianist Mildred Plotka is coached by Joh Cullum into taking the role of a heroic revolutionary of the Franco/Prussian War (who risked death simply because she wouldn't raise her skirts for Otto von Bismarck!) to the point where by the end the shy understudy has become utterly transformed into the confident matinee idol Lily Garland. The second, where she can't make up her mind between performing in a Somerset Maugham drawing room drama or a musical about the life of Mary Magdalene, is one of the funniest songs ever written, and Kahn's jazzy triumphant riffs at the end are absolutely unforgettably funny.
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Why Does it Come in a Double CD Case?
Strangely enough, I believe it is just the way it is packaged. Heaven knows why. Enjoy it, it is one of my favorites!
Jun 18, 2014 by Jacob Stebly |  See all 2 posts
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