Chicago Director Set for Upcoming Broadway Revival of Twentieth Century

News   Chicago Director Set for Upcoming Broadway Revival of Twentieth Century Walter Bobbie has been announced as the director for the upcoming Broadway revival of the Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur play Twentieth Century starring Alec Baldwin.

The Roundabout Theatre Company staging of the new adaptation by Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor) is slated for early 2004 at the American Airlines Theatre.

Bobbie, last seen as a performer in Polish Joke Off-Broadway, garnered the Tony Award as Best Director for the current Broadway revival of Chicago. Other directorial credits include Footloose, Fiorello!, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, Durang Durang, Nude Nude Totally Nude and A Grand Night for Singing. As an actor, his stage credits include Guys and Dolls, Assassins, Getting Married, Anything Goes, Cafe Crown, Driving Miss Daisy, I Love My Wife, A History of the American Film and the original Grease.

Baldwin, last seen in the Off-Broadway production of Trumbo, has taken the Broadway stage in Loot, Serious Money and the benefit Short Talks on the Universe. The actor was nominated for a 1992 Tony Award for his turn in A Streetcar Named Desire. The Long Island native has also appeared in such films as David Mamet's "State and Main" and "Glengarry Glen Ross," Craig Lucas' "Prelude to a Kiss" (reprising his Off-Broadway role), "Pearl Harbor" and "Beetlejuice." Baldwin's agent confirmed his involvement in Twentieth Century.

Twentieth Century is the 1932 comedy set aboard the title luxury train en route from Chicago to New York. In an effort to revive his failing career, a Broadway producer hops on the Twentieth Century Limited to convince a famous movie actress (who also happens to be his former protege) to sign a contract with him.

The play originally opened at the Broadhurst Theatre and played for 152 performances. Twentieth Century was revived in 1950 starring Gloria Swanson and José Ferrer — who also directed. First based on a play by Bruce Millholland, the show was later adapted into the 1978 Tony Award-winning musical On the Twentieth Century by Adolph Green, Betty Comden and Cy Coleman, and starring John Cullum, Madeline Kahn, Kevin Kline and Imogene Coca. Baldwin headed a cast including Jane Krakowski in an earlier Roundabout reading of the play, with Bobbie directing, according to Variety. No other casting has been confirmed.

The lean Ludwig revision will debut regionally at the respected Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, under the direction of Eric Schaeffer in a run August-October.

Roundabout Theatre Company subscriptions are currently available by calling (212) 719-1300 or online at www.roundabouttheatre.org.