Tag Archives: PBS

A Jewish Legacy

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you today a wonderful DVD by PBS—Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.

We saw it when PBS first aired it and we liked it so much we bought our own copy so that we could continue to enjoy this amazing show.

This program “examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical. The film showcases the work of legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim.” It  includes performances by Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, Zero Mostel, Nathan Lane, Barbra Streisand, Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, and many more!

Don’t miss out—you can order your copy from PBS today! The cost is only $29.99, and you can get it by clicking on this link or on the picture below.

broadway PBS

Philip & Marilyn


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Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller

Dear Friends,

Last night we watched a wonderful performance Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller on WLIW Channel 21 (Long Island PBS). Who knew?!?

This is such an amazing play that was set in France during WWII.  It tells the story of eight men and one boy picked up under suspicion of being a Jew or a Jewish sympathizer.  The play takes us through the Nazi interviews of each of these men/boy, and the decision of whether to release each one or have them board a train to the concentration camps.

Incident at Vichy is quite remarkable and we love it!  We would highly recommend this play to everyone.

Thankfully, WLIW has made it available online (click the picture!)


It is also shown from time to time on WLIW Channel 21.

Do watch—we’d love to hear your thoughts about this incredible play!

Best regards,

Philip and Marilyn Langner

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To The Bard!

Dear Friends,

As April 23rd approaches, there are many celebrations for the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s life!  As a tribute, Channel 13 (aka PBS) is honoring his work!  He was such an instrumental and important person, both in terms of literature and theatre…and well, so many other things.

We at the Theatre Guild are so proud of our founder, Lawrence Langner, creating The American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, CT.  While it is currently not open, many lovely plays were showcased there—such as The Merchant of Venice and Much Ado About Nothing, both starring Katharine Hepburn.  And my (Philip) mother played in As You Like It at Westport Playhouse—so one could say that Shakespeare runs deep in the family roots!

No writer is more celebrated than The Bard and if you need any reasons why, just check out some of the Shakespeare inspired and/or written shows Channel 13 will be presenting over the next 10 days!

The 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death is being observed throughout the world in April 2016 with celebrations of the great English playwright and poet (April 1564 – April 23, 1616) and his many works. THIRTEEN celebrates with the premiere of Shakespeare’s Tomb, a new documentary about Shakespeare’s final resting place in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and encores of favorite broadcasts. See the six installments of Season Two of Shakespeare Uncovered (Fridays beginning April 8) and three of Shakespeare’s history-based plays in the Great Performances series “The Hollow Crown” – Richard II and Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 (April 22 & 23).

CHANNEL 13 Lineup:

Friday, April 22

  • 9-10 pm: Shakespeare Uncovered: Antony & Cleopatra with Kim Cattrall
  • 10-11 pm: Shakespeare Uncovered: Romeo & Juliet with Joseph Fiennes
  • 1:30-2 am: Theater Talk: Professor James Shapiro on Shakespeare
  • 2-4:30 am: Great Performances: The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 1
  • 4:30-7 am: Great Performances: The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2

Saturday, April 23

  • 1-4 pm: Great Performances: The Hollow Crown: Richard II
  • 4-5 pm: Shakespeare’s Tomb

Sunday, April 24

  • 4-5 am: Shakespeare Uncovered: Antony & Cleopatra with Kim Cattrall
  • 5-6 am: Shakespeare Uncovered: Romeo & Juliet with Joseph Fiennes
  • 11:30-noon: Theater Talk: Professor James Shapiro on Shakespeare


Go to their website to learn more!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

PS—for a bit of fun, PBS also has this quiz to see which Shakespeare character you are !

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Speaking Up

What a glorious speech!

That was our first reaction to President Obama’s eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney yesterday. It was thought provoking and addressed issues that have long faced our country.

We can only hope that the momentum in the aftermath of this horrifying tragedy will continue until we can solve this issues and prevent future senseless tragedies from happening. We know that it’s not realistic to think that all tragedies will not magically stop. We, as a country, have a long and challenging road ahead of us—but hopefully we are now on the road to true recovery for all people who call this great country home.

We found some great pictures online at the Huffington Post with some memorable quotes from his speech.

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And just in case you missed it—or would like to watch it again, PBS News Hour has kindly posted the eulogy on YouTube, which you can access here

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Porgy & Bess

Last night we saw the most incredible theatrical happening that we have seen in years!

It was the San Francisco Opera Company’s production of Porgy & Bess, presented by PBS at 9pm Eastern Time.  Incidentally, if you would like a DVD of this glorious production you can order it at PBS.  Dial 1 800  PLAY PBS or click here to link to PBS’s website.  The cost for a dvd is $28.74 including shipping.

The director, who spoke and described the history of Porgy & Bess, spoke about how the authors, George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, wrote the opera and decided to bring it in 1934 to The Theatre Guild, which had been producing serious plays since 1919.

The Theatre Guild board immediately said Yes!, and they presented it on Broadway, opening October 10, 1935 at the Guild Theatre on West 52nd Street.

Having seen this San Francisco Opera production last night, we simply can’t tell you how fantastic it was!  It is definitely in our opinion, the greatest theatrical works that America has created.

All of the actors in this San Francisco production were wonderful.  Additionally, no attempt was made to glamorize the totally poverty-stricken society that this play displays for us.

FUNNY  SIDENOTE: I remember seeing the original production at a matinee. I was 9 years old, and I remember that my mentor was given strict instructions that I must not be allowed to watch the last scene, as it was much too tragic!  AND I remember that my mentor did not take me out of the theatre seat, and so I saw the whole show.  Afterwards, my irritated parents spoke to me about the tragic ending.  I said, “That’s not tragic.  He’s going to New York!”  I still remember 80 years later.

porgy and bess


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