FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 1, 2005

The Museum of Television & Radio presents Good Thing Going: Celebrating Sondheim at 75

New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA—In honor of his seventy-fifth birthday, The Museum of Television & Radio will present Good Thing Going: Celebrating Sondheim at 75, a retrospective of the work of Stephen Sondheim, who is widely regarded as the most significant force in American musical theater in the second half of the twentieth century. The screening series will run in New York and Los Angeles from March 18 to July 3, 2005.

Over the past five decades, Sondheim has explored such unlikely subjects as the corrosion of America's postwar optimism and the intrusion of Western imperialism on nineteenth-century Japan, and has introduced theater audiences to characters "as complex, subversive and nervously modern as anything in the plays of Albee or Pinter or Pirandello," in the words of New York Times culture critic Michiko Kakutani.

To celebrate his birthday (March 22, 2005), the Museum presents a comprehensive screening series of Sondheim's work in another medium—television. The retrospective, originally shown at the Museum to honor the composer's seventieth birthday (and, for its current incarnation, featuring a recent German television documentary on the composer and some newly acquired segments with Yvonne DeCarlo, Eileen Farrell, Marilyn Horne, Carol Burnett, Barbara Cook, and others), illuminates his surprisingly long and remarkably rich relationship with the medium, dating back to 1953, when he landed his first professional writing job, scripting episodes of the supernatural sitcom Topper. Over the years, Sondheim has returned to television often and in various guises—as a writer, composer, interview or documentary subject, and even once as an actor. Throughout, television has captured Sondheim as his collaborators so often describe him—as a brilliant, passionate artist intoxicated by the creative process and eager to share his insights into it.

Screenings in New York are Tuesdays to Sundays at 2:00 p.m., with an additional screening Thursday evenings at 5:00 p.m., and in Los Angeles Wednesdays to Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

March 18 to 27 in New York and Los Angeles

  • Early Days

Includes "The Two of You," written in 1952 (and sung here by Crista Moore); a Theatreland segment on the 1997 Bridewell Theatre production of Saturday Night; an episode of Topper (1954) and Rendezvous: "In an Early Winter" (1959), both written by Sondheim; and his only musical written expressly for television: Evening Primrose (1966), starring Anthony Perkins and Charmian Carr. (130 minutes)

March 29 to April 3 in New York

March 30 to April 3 in Los Angeles

  • West Side Story Revisited

Includes the "balcony scene," with original cast stars Carol Lawrence and Larry Kert, on The Ed Sullivan Show (1958); a 1958 episode of Look Up and Live, with director/choreographer Jerome Robbins and Lawrence, Kert, and Mickey Calin; a 1961 episode of the WCBS program The American Musical Theatre with guests Sondheim and Martha Wright, hosted by Earl Wrightson; and the 1985 program Great Performances: Bernstein Conducts West Side Story. (175 minutes)

April 5 to 10 in New York

April 6 to 10 in Los Angeles

  • Everything's Coming Up Gypsy

Includes an excerpt from Gypsy Rose Lee's 1965 talk show, with guest Ethel Merman (plus home movies taken at the New Amsterdam Theatre during rehearsals for the original Broadway production of Gypsy); and the complete 1993 television production of Gypsy, starring Bette Midler, Cynthia Gibb, Peter Riegert, and Christine Ebersole, and directed by Emile Ardolino. (160 minutes)

April 12 to 17 in New York

April 13 to 17 in Los Angeles

  • A Waltz...and a Master Class

Includes a 2002 NewsHour segment with Barbara Cook, who talks about Sondheim's work and sings "Send in the Clowns" and "Anyone Can Whistle"; an excerpt from the 1971 Tony Awards, with Zero Mostel singing "Comedy Tonight"; a 1965 episode of the WCBS program The American Musical Theatre, with Richard Rodgers and Do I Hear a Waltz? stars Elizabeth Allen and Sergio Franchi; a 1965 episode of Camera Three with Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, and Beni Montresor, who discuss Do I Hear a Waltz?; and, from 1984, The South Bank Show: Stephen Sondheim: A Master Class. (120 minutes)

April 19 to 24 in New York

April 20 to 24 in Los Angeles

  • In Comes Company

Includes an excerpt from a 1971 episode of The Carol Burnett Show, with Burnett and opera stars Eileen Farrell and Marilyn Horne performing "You Could Drive a Person Crazy"; D.A. Pennebaker's fascinating 1970 documentary about the eighteen-and-a-half-hour recording session for the Broadway original cast album of Company, featuring Dean Jones and Elaine Stritch; and the 1996 Donmar Warehouse London revival of Company, starring Adrian Lester as Bobby and directed by Sam Mendes. (200 minutes)

April 26 to May 1 in New York

April 27 to May 1 in Los Angeles

  • Follies

From the 1975 Tony Awards, Alexis Smith sings "The Story of Lucy and Jessie"; Yvonne DeCarlo sings "I'm Still Here" in a 1978 special, Hollywood's Diamond Jubilee; from a 1977 episode of Saturday Night Live, Lily Tomlin, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman sing "Broadway Baby"; the cast of the original Broadway production of Follies joins the creative team (Sondheim, librettist James Goldman, and producer/director Harold Prince) on The David Frost Show in 1971; and, from 1985, Great Performances: Follies in Concert, with Lee Remick, Barbara Cook, Mandy Patinkin, George Hearn, Carol Burnett, and Elaine Stritch. (170 minutes)

May 3 to 8 in New York

May 4 to 8 in Los Angeles

  • Night Music and June Moon

Includes D. Jamin-Bartlett singing "The Miller's Son" on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1973); Glynis Johns and Len Cariou performing "Send in the Clowns," from The Best of Broadway (1982); a forty-five-minute episode of Pebble Mill devoted to the 1996 Royal National Theatre production of A Little Night Music, starring Judi Dench; Sondheim: A Musical Tribute and a commercial for A Little Night Music (1973); and the 1974 program Theater in America: June Moon, in which Sondheim appears (in his only television acting gig) as a Tin Pan Alley pianist. (170 minutes)

May 10 to 15 in New York

May 11 to 15 in Los Angeles

  • Pacific Overtures and the Creative Process

Includes the 1976 Camera Three: "Anatomy of a Song," featuring Sondheim, librettist John Weidman, and the cast performing "Someone in a Tree"; a 1984 interview from The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, in which Sondheim talks at length about the creative process; and the complete 1976 Broadway production of Pacific Overtures, taped for Japanese television and never aired here. (160 minutes)

May 17 to 22 in New York

May 18 to 22 in Los Angeles

  • Side by Side...the South Bank Show

Includes segments from two 1977 episodes of The Mike Douglas Show devoted to Side by Side by Sondheim; the 1977 program Previn and the Pittsburgh: Stephen Sondheim, featuring Millicent Martin, Julia McKenzie, and David Kernan; and a 1980 South Bank Show, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Scenes from the Making of a Musical, featuring Sondheim (who explains how he created "The Worst Pies in London" and "God, That's Good"), director Harold Prince, and London stars Denis Quilley and Sheila Hancock. (190 minutes)

May 24 to 29 in New York

May 25 to 29 in Los Angeles

  • Exclusively Sweeney

Includes a television commercial for the original 1979 New York engagement of Sweeney Todd and the complete 1982 telecast of the show—arguably Sondheim's most daring and ambitious work—starring national company cast members George Hearn, Angela Lansbury, Ken Jennings, Cris Groenendaal, Betsy Joslyn, and Edmund Lyndeck, and directed for television by Terry Hughes. (145 minutes)

May 31 to June 5 in New York

June 1 to 5 in Los Angeles

  • Sundays with George

Includes the BBC Omnibus documentary "Sunday in the Park with......Stephen" (1990), which focuses on Sondheim as a visiting professor at Oxford University and on the Royal National Theatre production of Sunday in the Park with George; and the complete 1986 American Playhouse production of Sunday in the Park with George, with original Broadway cast members Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. (200 minutes)

June 7 to 12 in New York

June 8 to 12 in Los Angeles

  • 60 Minutes...Into the Woods

Includes Diane Sawyer's 1988 interview with Sondheim on 60 Minutes, filmed shortly after the Broadway opening of Into the Woods; and the complete 1991 American Playhouse production of Into the Woods, with original Broadway cast members Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Robert Westenberg, and Tom Aldredge. (170 minutes)

June 14 to 19 in New York

June 15 to 19 in Los Angeles

  • A Ballad and Passion

From the 1993 Laurence Olivier Awards, Henry Goodman and Anthony Barclay perform "The Ballad of Guiteau" from the 1992 London production of Assassins; on Charlie Rose in 1994, Sondheim discusses his Broadway show Passion, the meaning of unconditional love, and his relationships with his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, and his mother; plus the complete 1996 American Playhouse production of Passion, with Broadway stars Donna Murphy, Jere Shea, and Marin Mazzie. (185 minutes)

June 21 to 26 in New York

June 22 to 26 in Los Angeles

  • Celebrating Sondheim...Inside the Actors Studio

At an all-star tribute taped at Carnegie Hall in 1992, Sondheim is feted by Madeline Kahn, Betty Buckley and the Boys Choir of Harlem, Glenn Close, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Patrick Cassidy, Victor Garber, and Liza Minnelli; Sondheim joins Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton for a 1995 discussion of his life and work, with guest artists Liz Callaway and Jim Walton. (150 minutes)

June 28 to July 3 in New York

June 29 to July 3 in Los Angeles

  • Stop the Presses

From 2004, TimesTalks, The New York Times Speaker Series: Celebrating Sondheim, this is a conversation with Stephen Sondheim and Barbara Cook, moderated by critic Stephen Holden of The New York Times, on subjects including amplification in the theater, today's young performers, and the particular challenges of performing Sondheim's music; plus Stephen Sondheim: Musical and More, a 2000 German documentary (in English) by Georg Wübbolt and Michael Beyer, featuring musical clips and interviews with Sondheim, Harold Prince, Elaine Stritch, Arthur Laurents, Paul Gemignani, and Milton Babbitt, among others. (120 minutes)

Admission to Good Thing Going: Celebrating Sondheim at 75 is included with the Museum's suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles.

The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. Since opening in 1976, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. Programs in the Museum's permanent collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance.


The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m. and until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The Museum of Television & Radio in California, located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Both Museums are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles. The public areas in both Museums are accessible to wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change. You may call the Museum in New York at (212) 621-6800, or in Los Angeles at (310) 786-1000. Visit the Museum's website at www.mtr.org.

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Terry Lynn Ebright in Los Angeles
310.786.1042
tebright@paleycenter.org