On the Twentieth Century, a lesser-revived Comden, Coleman & Green musical about a manic train journey from Chicago to New York City, opened in mid-March to the kind of reviews that almost guarantee Tony Awards conversation—particularly surrounding its leading lady, Kristin Chenoweth.
But it’s not just Cheno and co-star Peter Gallagher who make Twentieth Century tick. They keep the show chugging along like a luxury locomotive with the help of two other Broadway icons: set designer David Rockwell and costumer William Ivey Long.
Three-time Tony nominee Rockwell, twice a production designer for the Academy Awards, has created the onstage settings for 17 Broadway shows including the original productions of Hairspray, Legally Blonde, The Normal Heart, and Kinky Boots. Long has dressed 70 Broadway productions, earning six Tonys in the process for his work on shows like The Producers, Nine, Hairspray, Grey Garden, and Cinderella. Together, the two constitute something of a theatrical dream team, and On the Twentieth Century is their latest winning collaboration.
Below, watch Rockwell and Long explain how they tackled the peculiar challenges that come with bringing a train—and its extravagant passengers—to the American Airlines Theatre stage.