Fast forward to 1978, and you find them teamed up with Cy Coleman, no slouch in the compositional department, what with Sweet Charity and City of Angels on his CV. On the Twentieth Century, based on the MacArthur/Hecht play and film Twentieth Century, was a similar talentfest. Glamorous Lily Garland, formerly Brooklyn shopgirl Mildred Plotka, has gone Hollywood, but maniacal Broadway director Oscar Jaffe, who made her a star, boards the eponymous train, plotting to drag her back to Broadway. A ludicrously athletic Kevin Kline (right) literally leaped to fame as matinee idol Bruce Granit, but who played the heroine? Madeline Kahn, she of the gleefully tawdry Dietrich impersonation in Blazing Saddles (playing Lily von Schtup) and the orgasmic high notes when consummating her passion for the monster in Young Frankenstein. Where has she been of late? Well, she ignited Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig (we got Maureen Lipman, which isn't quite the same), sang the lead in the concert revival of Anyone Can Whistle, was in Nora Ephron's critically lambasted Mixed Nuts, and has just completed filming Neil Simon's London Suite.
Hot on the heels of the intriguing Promises, Promises, On the Twentieth Century boasts Kathryn Evans, the sensational second lead from Mack and Mabel. Promising, to say the least.
Bridewell Theatre, London (0171-936 3456) from WedReuse content