Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age, an oral history documentary exploring Broadway from 1959-1983 via one-on-one interviews with a host of Broadway legends, premieres via PBS' Great Performances beginning August 14 (check local listings), and streaming nationwide on demand via the PBS Video app.
The documentary is written, directed, and produced by late filmmaker Rick McKay, and is a sequel to McKay's 2003 documentary Broadway: The Golden Age—By the Legends Who Were There. Beyond the Golden Age picks up where the first film left off, taking audiences through the early '80s through interviews with Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Glenn Close, André De Shields, Jane Fonda, Robert Goulet, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Dick Van Dyke, Ben Vereen, and more. Jonathan Groff hosts.
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Among topics covered in the film are opening night of the original production of 42nd Street, when producer David Merrick infamously announced the death of director-choreographer Gower Champion at curtain call; the creation of A Chorus Line and its record-breaking 3,389th performance featuring more than 100 performers from various companies of the musical; and Glenn Close's Broadway debut going on as an understudy to the lead on the opening night of Love For Love with just hours of notice and no rehearsal. The documentary also features rare home video footage of Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera performing "Hot Honey Rag" from the stage of the 46th Street Theatre during the original run of Chicago.
The film has been in development for nearly two decades, since the release of the original documentary. McKay successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 to help get the film completed, but his untimely passing in 2018 made its future uncertain. Among the team that took the film to the finish line are executive producers Anne L. Bernstein and Albert M. Tapper, and producers Jane Klain, Jamie deRoy, Richard Eric Weigle, Michael Anastasio, James Berry, and Corey Brunish. Frances B. Bator, Kimberly Reed, and Rachel Roark Strange are co-producers.