September 20–October 11
The Seven Year Itch
George Axelrod

January 9–31
Crime and Punishment in America
Cops by Terry Curtis Fox and
Hello Out There by William Saroyan

March 19-22
American Century's
Broadway Hit Parade

compiled by Jack Marshall,
Tom Fuller, and Jacqueline Manger

July 17–August 8
Twelve Angry Men
Reginald Rose

Dedicated to mining the treasures of
20th century performing arts

American Century's Broadway Hit Parade

March 19-22, 2015
Gunston Theatre Two (directions)

Photos | ProgramTickets

The following is an excerpted version of D.C. Theatre Scene's recent article on American Century's Broadway Hit Parade:

On a cool April evening in 1998, a professional production of the musical Lady In the Dark lit up a darkened theater and thrilled audiences for the first time since the show’s 1941 run. That 1941 production starred Gertrude Lawrence, introduced Danny Kaye to the entertainment world, and ran for 2½ years in three different New York theaters. After that it was promptly forgotten, except in Broadway history books and the reminiscences of old actors.’

That 1996 production had a cast of 25, an orchestra of 13, and a full-scale technical staff to bring the show back to life. Not on Broadway. Not in the West End. But in Arlington, Virginia. The newly-founded American Century Theater had produced the first musical in its short history, and it played to sellout houses for five weeks. After one of the performances, a patron who had seen the original run came up to the production staff and said gently, “Thank you. I’d almost forgotten.”

That simple statement epitomizes what the American Century Theater set out to do – ensure that glorious, or obscure, or idiosyncratic American musicals (as well as non-musical plays) were not “almost forgotten”, but were given new and exciting productions to inspire a new generation of audiences. Now, twenty years and eighteen musicals later, TACT is closing its doors this July, and presenting its final musical show, American Century’s Broadway Hit Parade.

Some of the musicals were well known but seldom performed, like Jerry Hermann’s Dear World, Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus, and the Rodgers and Hart classic Babes in Arms (which one Broadway writer described as “the finest set of nightclub songs ever written, performed by a wholly underage cast”). Some had been almost entirely forgotten, like archy & mehitabel (based on the works of journalist and poet Don Marquis) and Marathon ’33 (written by June Havoc, the “Baby June” younger sister of Gypsy Rose Lee). Some re-imagined outdated musicals, like I Do! I Do! played with a cast of two men and two women and featuring straight and gay marriages. TACT proved that every one of them was well worth resuscitating.

All these and more—including If Only In My Dreams, Danny and Sylvia, One Night With Fanny Brice, Call Me Mister , and Hellzapoppin’—come back to the TACT stage one more time, in a one-weekend staged reading and singing of some of the best these shows had to offer as American Century’s Broadway Hit Parade, compiled and scripted by Artistic Director and Founder Jack Marshall, and directed by Jacqueline Manger, with musical direction by Tom Fuller. In many cases, TACT has assembled members of its original casts and other veterans of its theatrical roster of veteran performers. The memorable evening will also contain a surprise or two, even for the organization’s most loyal followers. TACT’s legacy will continue to ensure that none of these moments from the American musical stage become “almost forgotten.”

Running time: approximately 2-1/2 hours, including one intermission

To order free tickets for children under 18, click here.

For group sales, contact

Calendar of Performances for
American Century's Broadway Hit Parade

March 2015

        8:00 PM
8:00 PM 2:30 PM
8:00 PM
2:30 PM            

PWYC indicates "pay what you can" - no advance reservations are accepted.

OPEN REHEARSAL A full-scale rehearsal with costumes, sets and lights. The director may stop and start the performance at any time. No Charge. No advance reservations accepted.

PREVIEW performances are "pay what you can" - see previous line.

TALKBACK indicates a post-show discussion following the performance.

PRE-SHOW DISCUSSION indicates a discussion beginning one hour prior to the performance.

To order free tickets for children under 18, click here.

For group sales, contact


(703) 998-4555
P.O. Box 6313, Arlington VA 22206