Home Musical play All aboard! Wagner College Theater’s Crazy Musical ‘On the Twentieth Century’ Plays This Weekend

All aboard! Wagner College Theater’s Crazy Musical ‘On the Twentieth Century’ Plays This Weekend


STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Wagner College Theater will host the Tony Award-winning “On The Twentieth Century” this weekend in the main hall auditorium of the Grymes Hill School.

The ‘crazy musical’ tackles the efforts of Oscar Jaffe, a flamboyant theatrical impresario, as he tries to persuade glamorous movie star Lily Garland – and her former lover – to star in his new stage production.

Left to right, Josh Romeo, Aidan Leach and Jack Lobley. (Courtesy of Karen O’Donnell) Advance from Staten IslandStaten Island Advance

And he hopes Lily’s involvement will guarantee Jaffe success and save him from his creditors, while revitalizing his faltering artistic reputation. With the help of his two trusty sidekicks, Owen O’Malley and Oliver Webb, and a somewhat offbeat religious activist, Leticia Primrose, Jaffe struggles to outsmart Lily, her movie star boyfriend Bruce Granit, as well as a rival producer, Max Jacobs.

It all takes place on a luxury train from Chicago to New York in the 1930s.

The production is directed by Brian Sgambati ’96, choreographed by Emma Pittman ’18, with musical direction by Dr. Lauri Young. Kayla Fegeley is assistant director and Lauren Bergen is assistant choreographer.

Wagner College Theater

The company of “On the Twentieth Century”. (Courtesy/Karen O’Donnell) Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Advance

“I am thrilled to take to the main stage for my third directing effort at Wagner College Theater,” Sgambati said. “It was a joy to share this play with the cast and see them embrace the opportunity of this crazy musical gem. And beyond pure enjoyment, it was great to focus on this story of theater people and about the resilience they bring even in the most difficult of circumstances. At a time when Broadway and the theater itself has taken such a beating from the pandemic, it’s great to see a character like Oscar Jaffe – who is a man of drama through and through – who never gives up, who never says he dies, and who always finds a way to survive against whatever odds may be thrown at him.”

He explains that he had such a great time exploring the character of Oscar Jaffe and his durability, at a time when we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic, and a return of audiences to Wagner College and the country theatres.

Wagner College Theater

The singing and dancing train porters sing “Life is like a train” in a scene from “On The Twentieth Century.” (Courtesy of Karen O’Donell) Advance from Staten IslandStaten Island Advance

“So the time really seems right for a celebration like ‘In the Twentieth Century,’ which I see in many ways as a true love letter to the theater and the people who inhabit it and support it,” he adds. he.

The cast includes Aidan Leach as Oscar Jaffe, Reilly Wilmit as Lily Garland, Maddie La Ferr as Leticia Primrose, Josh Romeo as Owen O’Malley, Jack Lobley as Oliver Webb, Andrew King as Bruce Granit, Hayden Verbanas as Max Jacobs, Kirby Sclafani as Imelda Thornton, Bridget Yost as Agnes, Andrew Kolar as Conductor, Cat Sapovits as Dr Johnson, Liam Ellis as Grover Lockwood, Greyson Riley as Maxwell Finch, Ian Dembek as Secretary, Justino Tesoro as First Officer, Hannah Davis as Emily, Alexander Ullian, as Drew McClelland, Gabe Argate and Alex Moss as The Porters, and the set, Sammy O’Neil, Paul Hogan, Claire Dempsey, Val Lazarczyk, Kirby Sclafani, Greyson Riley, Cat Sapovits, Marvin Moser, Hannah Davis and Seth Jolles.

Wagner College Theater

Reilly Wilmit, center, and Company in a scene from ‘On The Twentieth Century’. (Courtesy of Karen O’Donnell) Advance from Staten IslandStaten Island Advance

The production is designed by Phill Hickox on sets, Fan Zhang, costumes, Vicki Neal, lighting, Richard Kroth, sound, Spring Super, hair/makeup, Nicole Donello, props.

Melanie Raimo is production manager, Jovi Geraldes and Allison Borio are assistant managers and Brian T. Sharron is technical director.

“On the Twentieth Century” features book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Cy Coleman.

The original Broadway production opened at the St. James Theater in February 1978, playing 449 performances before closing in March 1979. The original company, led by Harold Prince, included Madeline Kahn, John Cullum, Kevin Kline, Imogene Coca and George Lee Andrews. The musical won 1978 Tonys for Score (Coleman, Comden and Green), Scenic Designer (Robin Wagner), Book (Comden and Green) and actors Kline and Cullum.

Wagner College Theater

Aidan Leach and Reilly Wilmit as Oscar Jaffe and Lily Garland in a scene from “On The Twentieth Century”. (Courtesy of Karen O’Donnell) Advance from Staten IslandStaten Island Advance

Tickets are $30 for adults and $27 for seniors and can be obtained by calling 718 390-3259 or visiting [email protected]

Performances are Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m. with matinees on Saturday and Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m. Visit https://wagner.edu/performing-arts/theatre-season-2-2-4/ to learn more.

All customers must be vaccinated and reinforced and wear masks when entering the main lobby.