Oscar Jaffe, a Broadway producer on the skids, is a fast-talking, rude, pushy, manipulative businessman. Lily Garland is a beautiful, bossy, narcissistic, high maintenance starlet who is leaving Broadway behind for lucrative movie contracts in Hollywood.They meet on the Twentieth Century, a train headed for New York. He needs her desperately for his newest production. She doesn’t need him at all. Mayhem ensues.
Snappy repartee and silliness are found throughout “Twentieth Century” and the PCC cast handles the fast-paced comedy with style and grace.
Ashley Wells in the role of Lily Garland shows all the rage of a child as she orders the men in her life around, starting first with her milquetoast but cute boyfriend George, portrayed by John Mark Reyes. She dominates her scenes convincingly as the demanding ingénue.
Adam Kerbel is Oscar Jaffe, the high-strung, high-powered producer. Kerbel works hard on portraying Jaffe as a man who is used to getting what he wants. The twists and turns in his plot to get Lily to star in his next big production are madcap fun that Kerbel handles like a bullfighter in the arena.
However, so much emphasis is placed on this one portion of his character that it was a bit difficult to understand what honey he has to woo Lily into working for him. His character has charm as well as arrogance, but we didn’t see enough of the charm.
Mary Huff plays Myrtle Clark, a ditsy evangelist on the train who somehow manages to weave her life in between the lives of Jaffe and Garland. Huff plays her character with winsome simplicity. She is believable in an odd and most troubling way.
The rest of the cast does a fine job of keeping this breezy material swirling along.
The sets and costumes give the play an authentic look and feel. You’ll go home wanting to find an Astaire and Rogers movie rerun on TV.
It is playing in Sexson Auditorium in the C Building, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m., Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Oct. 18 at 8 p.m., Oct.19 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for students.
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