Broadway ballyhoo meets Hollywood hustle! This Hecht-MacArthur comedy is set in the observation car of the 20th Century Ltd, travelling from Chicago to New York’s Grand Central Station. Aboard the luxury train are egomaniacal theatre producer Oscar Jaffe, desperately in need of a hit, and his former paramour and protégé, temperamental actress Lily Garland, who abandoned him for a Hollywood career. Oscar is determined to sign her for his new show, and Lily is just as determined to ignore his advances, both professional and personal. Trying to make sense of the chaos are his long time assistants Webb and O’Malley. Other hilarious characters include George, Lily’s lover, Max (another ex-lover and producer) and a religious fanatic who has escaped from an institution.
The 1934 film starred John Barrymore and Carole Lombard and was directed by the legendary Howard Hawks – it is considered the first of the great 1930s Hollywood screwball comedies.
This Ken Ludwig adaptation was successfully produced on Broadway in 2004 starring Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche.