Zany 'Twentieth Century' Transports Audiences to Brighter Time

Article excerpt

Whether it's film, theater or books, entertainment audiences are flocking to any stories that allow them the opportunity to escape everyday life. The cast and crew of Saint Vincent Theatre's play "Twentieth Century," opening Thursday, proffer that exact experience for their patrons.

"The show takes place in 1933," says director Colleen Reilly. "It was a time when big Broadway productions provided an escape for a few hours into romance and laughter when the country was still experiencing serious economic difficulties. It's not that different from what people are living through today, so I hope they will come and enjoy a wonderful show."

One of the play's lead actors, David Cabot, agrees.

"The show is delightful in its zaniness and sense of adventure," he says. "It is a night that will take you away from anything that may be on your mind in this present-day world. It's a real escapist piece."

The play is a slapstick comedy, telling the story of a sinking theater owner who has 16 hours on a train ride from Chicago to New York to persuade his ex-lover, now a famous actress, to come back and star in a show that can, he hopes, save his theater.

"He concocts a scheme to get back together with his former flame and convince her to star in his newest production, which he has no idea what that is," says Cabot, a Point Park University graduate and current professor who plays the role of down-and-out theater owner Oscar Jaffe. …