The popular PBS show Great Performances will return for a second year of its “Broadway’s Best” series, complete with two musical theatre productions and two theatre-related documentaries. What do audiences have to look forward to? On the roster is a filmed version of the West End production of An American in Paris, the 2015 live UK broadcast of The Sound of Music, John Leguizamo’s Road to Broadway, and Harold Prince: A Director’s Journey.
An American in Paris
Airs November 2, 2018 at 9:00 PM ET on PBS
Inspired by the hit 1951 Metro-Goldwyn Mayer movie musical of the same name that won the Academy Award for Best Picture, was a hit on Broadway in 2015. It won four Tony Awards including Best Choreography. Reimagined by director-choreographer Christopher Wheedon, with a book by Craig Lucas and stuffed to the brim with some of George and Ira Gershwin’s most-sparkling songs, the musical was recorded live with its original stars Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild.
The Sound of Music
Airs November 9, 2018 at 9:00 PM ET on PBS
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is one of the most beloved musicals of all time, from its long-running original Broadway production that opened in 1959, to its 1965 Oscar-winning film version starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Now audiences will have a chance to see a new production, the 2015 United Kingdom version starring Julian Ovenden, Kara Tointon, and Maria Friedman.
John Leguizamo’s Road to Broadway
Airs November 16, 2018 at 9:00 PM ET on PBS
John Leguizamo was recognized at the 2018 Tony Awards with a special trophy for his body of work. John Leguizamo’s Road to Broadway is a documentary that follows this versatile actor-writer that follows Leguizamo’s latest Broadway outing, Latin History for Morons. The documentary is directed by Ben DeJesus.
Harold Prince: The Director’s Life
Airs November 23, 2018 at 9:00 PM ET on PBS
Who in the American Theatre has had a more prolific career than director-producer Harold Prince, the genius behind such hits as The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman (and myriad others)? With Harold Prince: A Director’s Journey, theatre director and documentarian Lonny Price examines Prince’s careers while conducting probing interviews with a wide variety of artists who worked with the master.
The Great Performances’ “Broadway’s Best” series will air on Fridays from November 2–23 at 9 PM ET on PBS. Each episode will be available for streaming on PBS.org the day after it premieres.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.