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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“THIS IS BROADWAY” Vintage Interviews with Broadway Luminaries!
September 29, 2009
Now available on: http://ibdb.com, http://americantheatrewing.org/thisisbroadway, and iTunes
The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing announce today’s launch of “This is Broadway,” short interviews from Broadway notables circa 1977.
Beginning today, September 29,th and continuing into 2010, editions of “This is Broadway” will be released weekly via The League’s IBDB http://ibdb.com and The Wing’s websites http://americantheatrewing.org/thisisbroadway,as well as on iTunes. Interviews can be accessed on IBDB via the orange “Media” tab at the top of the page.
Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said, “This is Broadway” was a promotional project of the League 32 years ago. It consisted of weekly three-and-a-half minute interviews with Broadway luminaries, hosted by Isobel Robins and Richard Seff, and syndicated to radio stations around the country. Filled with charm and wit, these short features haven’t been heard since their original broadcast.”
Howard Sherman, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing, said, “Because theatre is, by its nature, fleeting, the discovery of remnants of Broadway’s past is always cause for celebration. That’s why the American Theatre Wing is delighted to partner with The Broadway League (its longtime collaborator on The Tony Awards) to make available a time capsule of Broadway from the 1970s. Among 70 programs one can hear some familiar, but now silenced, voices, such as Comden & Green, Cy Coleman, Yul Brynner, Jerry Orbach, Jack Gilford, Hermione Gingold and Richard Kiley.”
Of the 70 programs that will roll out over the coming months, the following will be posted immediately:
HERMIONE GINGOLD, talking about her work with Stephen Sondheim
BETTY COMDEN AND ADOLPH GREEN, on their show A Party with Comden and Green.
Costume designer FLORENCE KLOTZ on Pacific Overtures and A Little Night Music
Composer STEPHEN SCHWARTZ on having Godspell, The Magic Show and Pippin on Broadway simultaneously
Playbill publisher ARTHUR BIRSH on the evolution of Playbill
ROBERT LuPONE on the original A Chorus Line
JACK GILFORD on Sly Fox
JOHN KANDER on Liza Minnelli joining the cast of the original Chicago
MERYL STREEP on Happy End
Host RICHARD SEFF on his peripatetic theatrical career
Future shows to be released include Robert Preston, Yul Brynner, Judd Hirsch, Liv Ullmann, Cy Coleman and Estelle Parsons.
One selection will be added weekly, on Tuesdays, complementing the American Theatre Wing’s existing schedule of "Downstage Center" on Mondays, "Working in the Theatre" on Wednesdays, and SDCF's "Masters of the Stage on Thursdays.
The original hosts, Isobel Robins and Richard Seff, returned to the studio over the summer to add some latter-day material.
Part of the appeal of the program arises from spontaneity. “The most exciting part,” said Isobel Robins, “was that it was ad-libbed and I’d been brought up in improvisational theatre.” Richard Seff echoed that thought, remembering, “I was mostly told, ‘Tomorrow you’re meeting Yul Brynner.’ I was prepared only in that they were usually in something currently.”
When asked about the most surprising experience among the dozens of interviews, Isobel Robins replied, “They were all surprising. Since we ad-libbed, we found things that even they hadn’t said before.”
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The Broadway League
The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League’s 600-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 240 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. Visit www.IBDB.com and www.ILoveNYTheater.com, and on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/TheBwayLeague.)
The American Theatre Wing
The American Theatre Wing (Theodore S. Chapin, Chairman of the Board of Directors; Howard Sherman, Executive Director) is best known as the creator of the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards®, which it presents annually with The Broadway League. The Wing sponsors many activities, all dedicated to recognizing excellence and supporting education in theatre. These programs include “Downstage Center,” a weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with the leading artists and professionals working on stage today; “Working in the Theatre,” a weekly television program on CUNY TV which gathers panels of theater artists to discuss their crafts; “Guides to Careers in the Theatre,” a video series developed for schools and libraries; a grants program for New York City not-for-profit theatre companies, which has awarded nearly $3 million since its inception; the Theatre Intern Group, a career development program for young professionals; SpringboardNYC, a two-week college-to-career boot camp for young performers moving to NYC; and the Jonathan Larson® Grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists and book writers. For additional information about all American Theatre Wing programs, go to americantheatrewing.org. You can also find the American Theatre Wing on Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheWing).