New PBS Doc To Explore Broadway Stage From 1959 To Early 1980s

1 month ago 8

The latest documentary from PBS’ Great Performances, Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age, will explore the world of Broadway from 1959 through the early 1980’s as recounted by a diverse cast of Broadway stars who lived through it.

Debuting August 14 and hosted by two-time Tony Award nominee Jonathan Groff, the new documentary is the long-awaited sequel to the late filmmaker Rick McKay's award-winning 2003 film, Broadway: The Golden Age – By the Legends Who Were There.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff and Okieriete Onaodowan during the Broadway ... [+] opening night performance of 'Hamilton' at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on August 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)


Written, directed and produced by McKay, this follow-up spotlights beloved Broadway shows including Once Upon a Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie, Pippin, A Chorus Line and Ain’t Misbehavin’, among others, and focuses particularly on famed directors and choreographers Gower Champion, Bob Fosse, George Abbott and Michael Bennett.

Featuring stars including Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Glenn Close, André De Shields, Jane Fonda, Robert Goulet, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Dick Van Dyke and Ben Vereen, the film also includes rare archival photos and never-before-seen footage both onstage and off. 

Among the little-known facts it reveals:

*Carol Burnett did not get the part she wanted in a Babes in Arms revival, which allowed her to accept her star-making and Tony-nominated role in Once Upon a Mattress.

*After Dick Van Dyke auditioned for Bye Bye Birdie for director Gower Champion with Ray Bolger’s signature song, “Once in Love with Amy,” Champion immediately cast Van Dyke in the role of Albert Peterson, which won him a Tony Award.

The film was a decades-long passion project for McKay, who researched, edited, directed and interviewed over 100 Broadway luminaries in a makeshift studio in his apartment. His untimely death in 2018 halted work on the film until his team of producers brought it to fruition.

Read Entire Article