‘Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy’

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Composer Irving Berlin, above,  and Leonard Bernstein.
Composer Irving Berlin, above, and Leonard Bernstein.

As Sir Robin carols merrily to King Arthur in Monty Python’s Spamalot, "In any great adventure, if you don’t want to lose ... you won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews." Eric Idle’s cheeky lyric, which generated knowing guffaws from Broadway audiences, proves to be grounded in truth, as "Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy" attests. The 90-minute documentary, which explores the phenomenon of how Jewish-American songwriters created a uniquely American art form, airs Tuesday, January 1, at 9:30 p.m., on PBS. (Check local listings.) The film, narrated by Joel Grey, features interviews and conversations with some of the greatest composers and writers of the Broadway stage, including Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Kurt Bock, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Jule Styne and many others. The film, which contains some rare clips, was produced, written and directed by Michael Kantor.

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Last modified on Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 18:38

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Published in Arts & Culture

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Composer Irving Berlin, above,  and Leonard Bernstein.

Composer Irving Berlin, above, and Leonard Bernstein.

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