The Sept. 23-25 concerts at the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College will be directed by Tony McClean with musical direction by Michael Joseph. Joining Ripley and Dvorsky onstage will be Cheryl McMahon as Letitia Peabody Primrose, Andrew Giordano as Bruce Granit, Paul Farwell as Owen O’Malley, William Hartery as Oliver Webb, Robert DeVivo as Max Jacobs, Megan Tillman as Imelda Thornton and John King as The Conductor with Brian DeLorenzo, Michael Letch, Jeff Mahoney and Andy McLeavey as The Porters.
The ensemble comprises Jaclyn Campbell, Whitney Cohen, Kate deLima, Aimee Doherty, Jackie Duffy, Ryan Dunn, Karen Fanale, Frank Gayton, Paul Giragos, Kathy Keefe, Amanda Kitchens, Catherine Lee, Michael Letch, Rene Lewis, Naomi Gurt Lind, Stephanie Mann, Melanie May, Allison Murphy, Chip Phillips, Deb Poppel, Don Ringuette, Andrew Ryker, Steve Shannon, Jesse Strachman, Erin Tchoukaleff, Patrice Tiedemann, Dawn Tucker and Jennifer Walker.
A madcap musical set on a luxurious passenger train traveling between Chicago and New York during the Roaring Twenties, On the Twentieth Century features a book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Cy Coleman. The musical concerns the corrupt and broke producer Oscar Jaffee (Dvorsky), who is willing to go to any lengths to secure the services of one of his former actresses (and former lover) Lily Garland (Ripley), now a great movie star. Songs in the score include "Five Zeros," "I Have Written a Play," "I Rise Again," "I've Got it All," "The Legacy," "Life Is Like a Train (entr'acte)," "Lily," "Oscar," "Mine," "Never," "On the Twentieth Century," "Our Private World," "Repent," "Sextet," "She's A Nut," "Stranded Again," "Together" and "Veronique."
The original Broadway production opened at the St. James Theatre in February 1978, playing 449 performances before closing in March 1979. The original company, directed by Harold Prince, included Madeline Kahn, John Cullum, Kevin Kline and Imogene Coca. The musical won 1978 Tonys for Score (Coleman, Comden and Green), Scenic Designer (Robin Wagner), Book (Comden and Green) and actors Kline and Cullum.
Alice Ripley, who recently completed an acclaimed run in the Paper Mill production of The Baker's Wife, has appeared on Broadway in Side Show,The Rocky Horror Show, James Joyce's The Dead, Sunset Boulevard, The Who's Tommy, Les Misérables and in the City Center Encores! production of Li'l Abner. She has also been seen in Tell Me On a Sunday, Company, Shakespeare in Hollywood, The Fabulous Invalid and Five Flights. Ripley's non-show recordings include two discs with Side Show co-star Emily Skinner — "Duets" and "Unsuspecting Hearts" — and a recording of her own compositions, "Everything's Fine." The singer actress also heads her own rock band, RIPLEY. George Dvorsky was seen in the Broadway casts of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Passion and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and has appeared in the North Shore Music Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol for over a decade.
On the Twentieth Century, presented by Overture Productions, will play Sept. 23 and 24 at 8 PM and Sept. 25 at 2 PM. Tickets, priced $20-$60, are available by calling (800) 233-3123 or by visiting www.maj.org. Half of all proceeds will be donated to Boston-based youth arts programs.