As part of its acclaimed series of Great Performances, the new PBS TV documentary Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age explores the world of Broadway from 1959-1983, as recounted in the personal anecdotes of a diverse roster of stage legends who were there and made it happen. The broadcast will make its debut in select markets nationwide beginning on Saturday, August 14 (check local listings), with the New York metropolitan area premiere scheduled for Thursday, August 19, at 8 pm, on channel 13.
The long-awaited sequel to the award-winning 2003 film Broadway: The Golden Age – By the Legends Who Were There represents the culmination of a decades-long passion project for the late filmmaker, producer, director, and editor Rick McKay, who researched 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.
Hosted by two-time Tony Award nominee Jonathan Groff (Hamilton; Spring Awakening), the show will feature appearances and first-hand reminiscences by a galaxy of stars, including Bea Arthur, Elizabeth Ashley, Alec Baldwin, Candy Brown, Carol Burnett, Glenn Close, André De Shields, Jane Fonda, Robert Goulet, Robert Guillaume, Cherry Jones, Baayork Lee, Donna McKechnie, Liza Minnelli, Robert Morse, Jerry Orbach, Robert Redford, Debbie Reynolds, Chita Rivera, Eva Marie Saint, Liev Schreiber, Elaine Stritch, Dick Van Dyke, Ben Vereen, and Lesley Ann Warren.
Shining a spotlight on such beloved Broadway classics as Once Upon a Mattress (with Carol Burnett in her 1959 star-making Tony-nominated role), Bye Bye Birdie, Barefoot in the Park, Pippin, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Chicago, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line (which, in 1989, became the longest running show in Broadway history), and more, special focus is placed on famed directors and choreographers Gower Champion, Bob Fosse, George Abbott, and Michael Bennett. In addition to the oral-history accounts, the film also contains rare archival photos and never-before-seen footage from both on and off stage.
Throughout its nearly 50-year history on PBS, Great Performances, produced by The WNET Group – a leading non-profit public media producer for almost 60 years, bringing arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment, and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month – has provided an unparalleled showcase for the performing arts, including the best of Broadway.
As with all episodes of the series, Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age will be available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including the PBS website and video app, which is accessible on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast.