All aboard the 'Twentieth Century'

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Hooker

Once upon a time, the clicketyclack of a train moving down the tracks didn't remind people of their commute into the city to work.

In bygone days, the sound of a train whistle meant travel, adventure, excitement.

Wheaton Drama's latest production invites people into Playhouse 111 and "all aboard" the Twentieth Century Limited train: destination New York City.

It's a throwback to when luxury travel meant riding the rails and sexual references were little more than innuendo. It was the 1930s.

"It's a fun comedy without any dire sexual overtones," said actor Jim Arnold of Clarendon Hills. "It's from the era of the '30s when everything is clean and neat and fun."

"Twentieth Century," Wheaton Drama's third show of the 2010-11 season, departs the station at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28.

With the action set on a 1930s train, Broadway producer Oscar Jaffe finds himself trying to save his fading career. He learns famous Hollywood actress Lily Garland, once one of his chorus girls, is also on his train and decides he must convince her to return to Broadway.

But Max Jacobs, played by Arnold, sets out to thwart Oscar Jaffe's plans.

And then there's Lily's jilted agent/boyfriend, George Smith, who learns during the trip that she's been cheating.

True to traditional '30s style, the production isn't overtly

sexual and characters don't use vulgar words. But that doesn't mean it's not implied.

"It's all there. It's not blatant, but it definitely has a flair for the sensual," said Christopher Williams of Aurora, who plays George Smith. …