If you love show tunes like I love show tunes, here’s some great news. Every Sunday at 3 PM you can now tune in to BROADWAY TO MAIN STREET, WPPB Peconic Public Radio’s new show hosted by Laurence Maslon devoted to music that began on the Broadway stage:
Every song we’ll play will have originated on Broadway, but in addition to the stars who made these songs famous, we’ll also hear from the great artists of film, popular recording, jazz, and the cabaret scene, and discover some of their majestic interpretations of this glorious music, in order to give our listeners a sense of how vast, how entertaining and how enlightening the American musical stage has been for over a century. Whether our listeners have tuned in from their living room or their car radio or one of those new fangled mobile devices, they’re going to have the best seat in the house.
Each episode celebrates an important show or legendary songwriter or examines a historical or cultural movement. The songs are drawn from classic albums, rare recordings, and surprise interpretations, supplemented by Maslon’s commentary, guest appearances, and news from Broadway. If can’t tune in, you can listen to podcasts of the show anytime through the show’s website.
A renowned expert on musical theatre, Maslon is the Associate Chair of the Graduate Acting Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with an affiliation in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and is the author of numerous books on musical theater.
Maslon is also the co-writer of the 2004 Emmy-wining Broadway: The American Musical with Michael Kantor, as well as the co-author of the companion volume of the same name, now available in paperback from Applause Books. This Sunday, PBS will begin rebroadcasting this six-part documentary series that chronicles the Broadway musical throughout the 20th century and explores the evolution of this uniquely American art form that has its roots in New York City. This series combines archival footage, 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.
During this long holiday weekend, spend your Sunday toe-tapping to your favorite tunes. At 3 PM, catch this week’s episode of “Broadway to Main Street,” entitled “Rockin’ Around Broadway” that covers recordings from some of the great artists of rock’n'roll (and R&B). Janis Joplin, James Brown, the Supremes, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles play some of Broadway’s biggest hits. Then, at 10 PM on PBS (Channel 13 in NYC, check local listings), catch Episode I of “Broadway: The American Musical,” entitled, “Give My Regards to Broadway (1893-1927),” that features interviews with New Yorker critic Brendan Gill, theater artist Al Hirschfeld, and composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, as well as newly restored color footage of “The Ziegfeld Follies” and footage of Fanny Brice singing “My Man.”
So all you fellow show-tune geeks out there—just sit back, relax, and enjoy the shows!