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Broadway

Liza, The Golden Years of Broadway and Wicked

Liza, The Golden Years of Broadway and Wicked

Carol Burnett, composer Mary Rodgers, and director George Abbott in rehearsal for Once Upon a Mattress, 1959. Photo by Friedman-Abeles © The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Broadway officially reopened on June 26 with Springsteen on Broadway, then came Pass Over. The Tony Award-winning musicals HamiltonHadestown, and Wicked are set to open in September. Channel THIRTEEN celebrates this momentous return to the theater with three specials that spotlight Broadway legends, hit musicals, and more.

A woman with short dark hair and a shiny white top and suit jacket raises her arms, one hand holds a mic. Her face is tilted up and her mouth is open.

Liza Minnelli in LIZA WITH A Z (1972). Photo courtesy Proven Entertainment.

Liza With a Z  will re-air Thursday, August 12, 8 p.m featuring a 26-year-old Liza Minnelli, daughter of Judy Garland. This was a follow up her hit film Cabaret, directed by Bob Fosse, who also directs this live concert performance. For this made-for-TV special in 1972, Liza performs Fosse’s choreography, and belts out songs by Broadway songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb. The concert special was filmed at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City and earned four Emmy Awards, a DGA Award, and a Peabody. Highlights include a Cabaret medley, “Ring Them Bells,” the iconic title song, and more. Marvin Hamlisch was the music conductor, and Halston designed the glittering and glossy costumes.

After a 1973 rebroadcast, the film was thought lost for 30 years. But Minnelli held the rights and organized a search for a negative that led to its restoration. The remastered film was accepted at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Hamptons Film Festival and first thrilled audiences again in 2005.

A black and white photo of men in women in stylized suits and top hats posing in a line on stage

“A Chorus Line.” Photo by Martha Swope (c) The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Broadway: 1959 – 1980s Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age is hosted by Two-time Tony nominee Jonathan Groff on Thursday, August 19, 8 p.m. This is a sequel to Rick McKay’s film Broadway: The Golden Age (2003).

Look for Bea Arthur, Elizabeth Ashley, Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Glenn Close, Charles Durning, Celeste Holm, Jane Fonda, Robert Goulet, Cherry Jones, Donna McKechnie, Robert Morse, Jerry Orbach, Elaine Paige, Don Pippin, Robert Redford, Chita Rivera, Elaine Stritch, Jane Summerhays, Tommy Tune, Dick Van Dyke, Ben Vereen, and more. Broadway shows including Once Upon a Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie, Barefoot in the Park, Pippin, and 42nd Street.

Donna McKechnie shares stories about the creation of A Chorus Line (music and lyrics by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban). Liza Minnelli recalls stepping into the role of Roxie Hart in Bob Fosse’s Chicago in 1975 while Gwen Verdon was on vocal rest. André De Shields, Robert Guillaume, Armelia McQueen, Ken Page, and Charlaine Woodard reflect on the birth of Ain’t Misbehavin’.

In addition to broadcast and livestreaming, Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age will stream on-demand on the Great Performances website (pbs.org/gperf) and the THIRTEEN and PBS apps. Great Performances has been the PBS showcase of the best of the performing arts for nearly 50 years. 

A woman in long light blue dress stands on lip of proscenium stage and raises her right arm while singing; an orchestra is in pit before her.

Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, stars of the original hit Broadway musical Wicked, will host the Wicked in Concert, Sunday, August 29, 9 p.m. This reimagining of the hit musical in an intimate concert setting will star Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen), Amber Riley (Glee), Alex Newell (Once on This Island, Glee), Ariana DeBose (Hamilton) and Sara Bareilles (Great Performances: Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Waitress). They will be performing “Defying Gravity,” “Popular,” and other beloved songs from the Tony-winning musical. Ariana DeBose will perform “The Wizard and I.”

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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