Twentieth Century May Clear a Path Through Roundabout's Cherry Orchard; Will Baldwin Star?

News   Twentieth Century May Clear a Path Through Roundabout's Cherry Orchard; Will Baldwin Star? The Roundabout Theatre Company has postponed the previously announced production of The Cherry Orchard in its 2003-2004 season, a production spokesperson confirmed.

The Roundabout rep also confirmed that the non-profit is currently exploring the possibility of replacing the production with a staging of the Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur play Twentieth Century to run in January 2004 at the American Airlines Theatre.

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 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. Being based itself 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 — starring John Cullum, Madeline Kahn, Kevin Kline and Imogene Coca.

Alec Baldwin headed a cast opposite Jane Krakowski in an earlier Roundabout reading of the play (the script used was a revision by Ken Ludwig of Lend Me a Tenor fame, according to Variety). Baldwin is expected to star for the Roundabout, Variety reported. Walter Bobbie directed the earlier reading.

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.