Backstage Blog

Actor Q&A: The 20th Century Cast

For many in our cast, musical theatre is in their blood and they jumped at the chance to perform in this rarely produced comic gem. For musical theatre fans, On the Twentieth Century has almost a cult following. In the 1978 Broadway season, the show garnered nine Tony nominations, winning five but it is barely produced because of the challenge of depicting the luxury train on stage. We can’t wait to show you how we did it!

Meanwhile, we asked our cast a few questions about the show, their favorite musicals (hint: Think Sondheim) and of course, trains.

20thCentury-873Amy Perkins

Have you ever seen a production or better yet, appeared in On the 20th Century?  In 2011, I was a porter in a production at Theater at Monmouth in Maine.

 

 20thCentury-870Morgan Carberry

Why do you love Musical Theatre?  I love how music & language work together.

What is your Favorite Musical?  Into the Woods

Do you have a favorite train memory?  I fondly recall backpacking through Europe on trains in college.

 

 20thCentury-859Bryan Banville

Why do you love Musical Theatre?  It’s the best! Storytelling through music!

 

 

 20thCentury-885Debra Wanger

Why do you love Musical Theatre?  It has it all. Music, passion, heightened emotion & silliness.

Have you even seen a production of On the 20th?  I saw LA Encores production with Carolee Carmello.

Favorite Train Story?  The Little Engine That Could & Polar Express

 

20thCentury-862Melissa Fernandes

Favorite Train Story?  Murder on the Orient Express

Favorite Musical?  I am not sure I have a favorite musical, but I do have a favorite composer. Stephen Sondheim speaks to me like no other composer can. He writes strong yet vulnerable women and his music is challenging and honest.

Have you ever seen a production or better yet, appeared in On the 20th Century?  I was in the staged reading at Cygnet theatre 7 years ago. I was in the ensemble the first night but the 2nd night, the actor playing Owen (Phil Johnson) got sick and couldn’t perform. After searching all of San Diego frantically for a male to play take over, he called me at 11am that morning and asked if I could do it. Always up for a challenge (never being able to say no to Sean), I went on that evening with about 2 hours rehearsal. Of course that was the night Cy Coleman’s widow was in the audience. It was crazy insane and fun!

 

 20thCentury-275Melinda Gilb

Why do you love musicals?  I love Musical Theatre because it’s hard to do and I like to sing and act…two birds one stone!

Favorite Musical?  Too many favorites to pick.

Favorite Train Story?  Polar Express

 

20thCentury-890Steve Gunderson

Why do you love Musical Theatre? Do you have a favorite?  I love theatre, plays, not specifically musicals. I think my all-time favorite musical is Sweeney Todd, which I got to do at Cygnet! I also write musicals and have had many produced, such as Everybody’s Talkin’ and Suds (co-written with castmate Melinda Gilb) which started in San Diego and moved to New York and has had dozens of productions worldwide.

 

20thCentury-864Samantha Wynn Greenstone

Why do you love Musical Theatre?  Sometimes the only option is to break out in song.

Do you have an all-time favorite musical?  The Drowsy Chaperone

 

20thCentury-877Trevor Cruse

Why do you love Musical Theatre?  It allows the actor to dive into a character and give the audience a truthful, honest performance which allows the audience to enjoy themselves and forget about life for 2 hours, as well as potentially learn something new about themselves or the world from the lessons and themes conveyed in the show.

 

20thCentury-880LaFras Le Roux

Why do you love Musical Theatre? Do you have a favorite?  I love singing, and I love performing in a heightened reality. I’ve been doing Musical Theater since I was eight, it’s pretty much a part of me at this point. All-time favorite…Bonnie and Clyde the Musical, or Urinetown, or Rent, or Spring Awakening.

 Catch all these talented actors through April 30th!