Michael Riedel , theater talk
This week's THEATER TALK focuses on both the new PBS documentary Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy and the 100th Anniversary of the Actors' Equity Association. Guests are filmmaker Michael Kantor, producer of the PBS film, followed by Nicholas Wyman, President of Actors' Equity, and Robert Simonson, author of Performance of the Century: 100 Years of Actors' Equity Association and the Rise of Professional American Theater, which chronicles the powerful union's history.
The episode premieres at 1 a.m. on Friday, February 1 (early Saturday morning) on Thirteen/PBS, and continues in New York City on CUNY TV* Saturday at 8:30 PM, Sunday at 12:30 PM, and Monday at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM. THEATER TALK is co- hosted by Michael Riedel of the New York Post and executive producer Susan Haskins. The program will be posted online beginning February 4 at http://www.cuny.tv/show/theatertalk/PR2001559.
Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy explores how Jewish traditions and liturgical music influenced the seminal development of modern musical theater. Kantor traces the history of this important American art form by explaining how the work of Jewish composers and lyricists like George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg contributed to its popularity by writing many of Broadway's greatest scores.
Following the award-winning filmmaker, writer Simonson and veteran performer Wyman celebrate the Actors' Equity's Centennial. They discuss the problems of being an actor before the union was organized in 1913 - no rehearsal pay, abandonment out of town when shows closed prematurely - and explain how the organization was able to eliminate
these drawbacks of the profession. Wyman, himself a successful Broadway trouper, talks about the mission of Actors' Equity today, as well as one unique challenge it still faces - "As actors, we'll work for free."
THEATER TALK is the weekly series dedicated to the world of the stage. The program is jointly produced by the not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. It is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 60+ participating public television markets nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York