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Broadway: The American Musical

Putting It Together: 1980-Present (Season 1, Episode 6)
TV Episode | Documentary, Music

It is fitting that "The Producers", an homage to the making of Broadway musicals, is one the biggest hits to end this era of Broadway musicals as the producer once again comes to the forefront. Three producers dominate the era. Nicknamed ...See moreIt is fitting that "The Producers", an homage to the making of Broadway musicals, is one the biggest hits to end this era of Broadway musicals as the producer once again comes to the forefront. Three producers dominate the era. Nicknamed the Abominable Showman, David Merrick, who was at the tail end of his career, was known as the type of producer who would do anything needed to get what publicity he wanted for his shows. Cameron Mackintosh, the producer of four of the top six most successful musicals ever in "Cats", "The Phantom of the Opera", "Les Misérables" and "Miss Saigon", revolutionized the idea of bringing overseas productions to Broadway, which in turn brought them to the rest of the world via touring companies. And Michael Eisner brought the popular entertainment of the Disney Corporation's animated musical movies to the stage, which introduced the notion of corporate investment in Broadway itself. Other notable musicals of the era include "Sunday in the Park with George", the first collaboration between composer Stephen Sondheim and director James Lapine and whose development mirrors the story of the making of art; "La Cage aux folles", based on the movie La Cage aux Folles, the stage production which is old fashioned in score but revolutionary in story as the first successful show featuring a gay romance at its core; and the Pulitzer Prize winning "Rent", the death of its creator, Jonathan Larson, on the day before the first preview echoing what was being presented on stage. Two events shape the era. The first is the AIDS crisis, which took the lives of many of those associated with Broadway. The second is 9/11, which had the initial effect of making Broadway a ghost town, but whose longer term effect has been the resurgence of the musical comedy and using recognizable titles for new productions, such as "Hairspray" and "Wicked", the latter which has the known connection for the public to The Wizard of Oz. Written by Huggo See less
Read more: Plot summary
Writers
Michael Kantor | Laurence Maslon | Martin Starger (conceived by) (developed in association with)
Cinematographers
Status
Edit Released
Updated Oct 21, 2004

Release date
Oct 21, 2004 (United States)

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Cast

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74 cast members
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Cindy Adams
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Alan Alda
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Julie Andrews
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Anne Bancroft
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Gene Barry
Georges (in 'La Cage aux folles') (archive footage) Georges (in 'La Cage aux folles') (archive footage)   See fewer
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Matthew Broderick
Leo Bloom (in 'The Producers') (archive footage) Leo Bloom (in 'The Producers') (archive footage)   See fewer
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Mel Brooks
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Betty Buckley
Grizabella (in 'Cats') (archive footage) Grizabella (in 'Cats') (archive footage)   See fewer
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Carol Burnett
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Kristin Chenoweth
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Glenn Close
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Didi Conn
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Fred Ebb
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Michael Eisner
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Harvey Fierstein
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Peter Gallagher
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Brendan Gill
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Rudy Giuliani
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Joel Grey
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Michael Grief
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Mark Hamill
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Stephen Hanan
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Valerie Harper
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George Hearn
Albin (in 'La Cage aux folles') (archive footage) Albin (in 'La Cage aux folles') (archive footage)   See fewer
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Jerry Herman
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Al Hirschfeld
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Elton John
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Kristin Johnston
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John Kander
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John Lahr
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Rocco Landesman
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Nathan Lane
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James Lapine
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Jonathan Larson
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Arthur Laurents
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Michele Lee
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Lebo M.
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Richard Maltby Jr.
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Jesse L. Martin
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Idina Menzel
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James Nederlander Sr.
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Bebe Neuwirth
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James C. Nicola
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Cynthia Nixon
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Trevor Nunn
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Walter O'Neil
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Jerry Orbach
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Adam Pascal
Roger Davis (in 'Rent') (archive footage) Roger Davis (in 'Rent') (archive footage)   See fewer
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Mandy Patinkin
Georges Seurat / George (in 'Sunday in the Park with George') (archive footage) Georges Seurat / George (in 'Sunday in the Park with George') (archive footage)   See fewer
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Bernadette Peters
Herself / Dot / Marie (in 'Sunday in the Park with George') (archive footage) Herself / Dot / Marie (in 'Sunday in the Park with George') (archive footage)   See fewer
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Marc Platt
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Harold Prince
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Tim Rice
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Frank Rich
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Wanda Richert
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Paul Rudd
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Lea Salonga
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Stephen Schwartz
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Carole Shelley
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Brooke Shields
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David Shire
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Stephen Sondheim
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David Stone
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Susan Stroman
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Tommy Tune
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Marissa Jaret Winokur
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Ratings Breakdown

7.2 / 10 | 16 votes