This six-part documentary series chronicles the Broadway musical throughout the 20th century and explores the evolution of this uniquely American art form. The series draws on a wealth of archival news footage, lost and found television moments, original cast recordings, still photos, feature films, diaries, journals, intimate first-person accounts and on-camera interviews with many of the principals involved in creating the American musical. Julie Andrews is the series' host.
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Sunday, December 2 at 4:30 at p.m. & Sunday, December 9
at 2:00 p.m. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ (1943-1960)
The new partnership of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II changes the face of Broadway forever, beginning with the record-breaking Oklahoma! in 1943, featuring a landmark ballet by Agnes De Mille. Carousel and South Pacific then set the standard for decades to come by pioneering a musical in which story is all-important. For challenging the country to confront its deep-seated racial bigotry, South Pacific wins the Pulitzer Prize. In On the Town, an exuberant team of novices — Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jerome Robbins — captures the energy, humor and pathos of New York City during World War II.
Sunday, December 2 at 6:00 at p.m. & Sunday, December 9
at 3:30 p.m. Tradition (1957-1979) West Side Story not only brings untraditional subject matter to the musical stage, it ushers in a new breed of director/choreographer who insists on performers who can dance, sing and act. But by the time Jerome Robbins’ last original musical, Fiddler on the Roof, closes after a record run of 3,242 performances in 1972, the world of Broadway has changed forever. Rock ‘n’ roll, civil rights and Vietnam usher in new talents, many trained by the retiring masters, taking musical theater in daring new directions with innovative productions like Hair, the first Broadway musical with an entire score of rock music.
Sunday, December 2 at 7:30 at p.m. & Sunday, December 9
at 5:00 p.m. Putting It Together (1980-Present)
Legendary as the “Abominable Showman,” notorious producer David Merrick re-conquers Broadway in 1980 with a smash adaptation of the movie musical 42nd Street. But soon the biggest hits are arriving from an unexpected source – London. Producer Cameron Mackintosh redefines the business of show business as Cats, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon become international blockbusters. After 9/11, Broadway – like the rest of America – emerges from the darkness. Broadway’s corporate dominance continues to grow, as evidenced by new shows such as Wicked, the biggest hit of the 2003-04 season.
Click here to learn more about BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL.