One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. In this edition, host Victor Spinetti, star of the musical revue, "Oh What a Lovely War," discusses the show. After the CBS Orchestra plays a medley of songs from the overture, Spinetti explains how, as a Welsh schoolboy, he became interested in acting, and recalls his first experience appearing on Broadway in "The Hostage." He then explains what makes "Oh What a Lovely War" different from other musicals, tells a story about how his experiences training as a new recruit for the British army inspired a scene in the play, and uses volunteers from the student audience to reenact the scene. Next, he introduces Shepard Coleman, the revue's conductor, and they discuss the differences between British and American actors and audiences, as well as how the production of the play differs in both countries. Spinetti then explains how he opens the musical each evening by greeting and interacting with the audience, and how it differs nightly. Following an examination of the art of communication, Spinetti recites a poem he wrote about people who watch for magic in others rather than developing it in their own lives. The CBS Orchestra then closes the program with "Good-Bye," one of the musical numbers from the show.

Cataloging of this program was made possible by a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation.


  • DATE: February 6, 1965 Saturday 3:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:41
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:54255
  • GENRE: Music
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Music, popular (songs, etc.)
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965


  • Ethel Burns … Producer
  • Bill Bryan … Director
  • Shepard Coleman … Conductor, Guest
  • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
  • Victor Spinetti … Host, Singer
  • Joan Littlewood
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