Judge me all you want, but I love a good musical. Still, even though all the ones I’ve seen in New York have been great, they’ve all been a bit modern – leaving me craving some traditional, over-the-top, tap-dancing, jazz-handed fun.
And this week, I found it.
Meghan (you remember Meghan) had the sense to sign up to HipTix, which offers some seriously cut-down prices for theater tickets (which is very important seeing as prices are extortionate), and she’s seen a few great shows out of it. Last week, she invited me to be her date to her latest bargain: ‘On the 20th Century.’
If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry because neither had I. Before we went, all I knew was that it starred Kristen Chenoweth – and that was reason enough to go.
It turns out the show tells the story of a 16-hour train journey from Chicago to New York City. While on board, a washed-up theater producer (played by Peter Gallagher) plans to get a Hollywood hotty (Chenoweth) to agree to star in his still-unwritten play. And they have history: he’s the one who discovered her and they had a passionate love affair before their careers went very different ways. These days she has a Gaston-esque boyfriend who also happens to be on the train.
The story is simple but has enough twists to keep things interesting. I didn’t know any of the songs, but they were all powerful numbers – sometimes featuring four tap-dancing porters (our favorite).
Best of all were the performances. During every show I’ve seen on Broadway, I’ve always been distracted by a lacking performance (sorry, but Michelle Williams in Cabaret? The accents in Kinky Boots?), but everyone in this show was flawless. I was charmed by every character and Kristen Chenoweth’s talent is just unbelievable. She makes it all look and sound a breeze – and her comic timing is spot on.
If you’re not a musical fan, don’t bother going, of course. But if you fancy some solid good entertainment with some incredible performances, definitely check this one out. It’s on until mid-July.
Oh and if you get tickets right at the back, don’t worry because the theater is pretty small, meaning that every view is a good one.
(And even if you don’t fancy this show, definitely check out HipTix!)
‘On the 20th Century’ is at the Roundabout Theatre’s American Airlines Theatre on W 42nd Street and runs until July 15. Tickets are between $67 and $147, but we got ours for $25 through HipTix. For more info on the show, visit its website.
Photos from Broadway.com and the Roundabout Theatre.