'Great Performances' to celebrate 'Broadway's Best' in November

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
"An American in Paris" will kick off "Broadway's Best"
Courtesy of Johan Persson

Some of the Great White Way's brightest stars will be in the spotlight in November with a new "Broadway's Best" lineup on Great Performances.

The special lineup will air at 8 p.m. Fridays from Nov. 2 to 23 on Panhandle PBS.

This fall’s selections include the beloved musicals An American in Paris The Musical and The Sound of Music, as well as documentaries about the making of John Leguizamo’s Tony-nominated play Latin History for Morons and 21-time Tony-winning director and producer Harold Prince.

All programs will be available to stream the following day via pbs.org/gperf and PBS apps.

"Broadway's Best" programs will include:

  • An American in Paris The Musical at 8 p.m. Nov. 2: This stage adaptation of George Gershwin's symphonic masterpiece brings to life the 1951 MGM film starring Gene Kelly. The television debut will feature the Broadway staging's original stars, Tony nominees Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope, in a production directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.
  • The Sound of Music at 8 p.m. Nov. 9: Beloved by generations of audiences worldwide, this musical tells the inspiring true story of the von Trapp Family Singers and their escape from Austria during the rise of Nazism. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1959 hit stage musical garnered five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the blockbuster 1965 movie adaptation won five Oscars, including Best Picture. Great Performances presents the 2015 live U.K. broadcast version starring Kara Tointon as Maria and Julian Ovenden as Captain von Trapp. This broadcast is a special, one-night-only pledge opportunity. Panhande PBS viewers can call 806-371-5479 or go online to donate to the station; among the premium gift options for donors are tickets to the Nov. 21 staging of The Sound of Music for Civic Amarillo and Celebrity Attractions' Broadway Spotlight Series. Call 806-371-5477 for details.
  • John Leguizamo's Road to Broadway at 8 p.m. Nov. 16: Leguizamo first rose to fame as a stand-up comic, then actor in such films as Carlito's WayTo Wong Foo...Moulin Rouge and more. But his most successful home is on the stage, where he has starred in a series of one-man shows like Mambo MouthFreak and more. This behind-the-scenes documentary chronicles Leguizamo’s latest theatrical showcase, Latin History for Morons. This comic yet pointed look at the repression of Latino culture in America follows Leguizamo’s journey through his own family history to his first-ever comedy club tour and to Off-Broadway workshops of the new show.
  • Harold Prince: The Director's Life at 8 p.m. Nov. 23: This retrospective celebrates the extraordinary career of producer and director Harold Prince, whose seven decades in the theater spans from Broadway’s “Golden Age” to the contemporary blockbusters of today. Winner of 21 Tony Awards (the most of any individual), Prince’s peerless résumé includes such legendary shows as West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Evita, The Phantom of the Opera and many more. In addition to archival clips, this performance-documentary includes interviews with many of Prince’s renowned collaborators, including Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mandy Patinkin, John Kander, Susan Stroman, Angela Lansbury and others, all sharing their firsthand insights into his pioneering achievements in the theater.

Additionally, In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams, which chronicles the journey of Lin-Manuel Miranda's first Tony Award-winning musical, will encore at 9 p.m. Nov. 16.

"Great Performances: An American in Paris"

"Great Performances: The Sound of Music"

"Great Performances: John Leguizamo's Road to Broadway"

Major funding for “Broadway’s Best” on Great Performances is provided by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Irene Diamond Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The Phillip and Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Abra Prentice Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, The Lewis “Sonny” Turner Fund for Dance, the Merle and Shirley Harris Fund, and PBS.

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