Travel Back in Time with "Broadway: The Golden Age" - Review

Carol Channing

When you look around at the entertainment industry today, you see movies, television, rock concerts, the Oscars, the Emmys, paparazzi, tabloids, reality television; but how many people think of the theatre any more?  Theatre's home on Broadway has become an exclusive event reserved for the upper class, tourists, and Broadway fanatics.  But it wasn't always like this.  There was a time when tickets were 25 cents, and actors captured a magic on the stage that could not be duplicated anywhere else.

Angela Lansbury

"Broadway: The Golden Age" celebrates and documents a time when the theatre was one of the most popular forms of entertainment.  Interviews from Broadway legends such as Elizabeth Ashley, Carol Burnett, Jerry Orbach, Angela Landsbury, Bea Arthur, Betty Garrett, and Ben Gazzara all shared their most memorable and intimate details about life on Broadway in the 40's and 50's.   

 

Carol Burnett

This film truly takes the audience back to a unique time in the history of theatre, when it was immensely popular, and incredibly original and entertaining.  The great classics including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "West Side Story", "Mame", "Hello Dolly!" "The Glass Menagerie", and "Death of a Salesman" are relived, told by the stars that made them famous. 

 

Elizabeth Ashley

For anyone looking to recapture a glorious time in American's history when acting was really live, with no mikes, no special effects, and no camera, this film does it all.  If you're an actor, see this film.  It will make you remember what acting really is, when it belonged to the actor, not the director or the editor or cinematographer.  And if you're not an actor, see this film anyway because it will show you what an important art form the theatre was, and still is. 

Laurette Taylor

And who is the greatest actress of this age you may ask?  The answer is someone few have heard of, but her name kept coming up over and over again from all the legends interviewed: Laurette Taylor.  Very little film exists of her, but to hear the greats like Fred Ebb, Patricia Neal, and Martin Landau all speak so vividly of how natural she acted onstage, something very few have been able to come close to recreating, the audience can practically see her onstage as Amanda Wingfield in "The Glass Menagerie". 

 

 

Director Rick McKay

This is such an important film as it preserves a time in history that we can never go back to, and that seems so far away next to the rock musicals, and imported European theatre and $100 tickets that define Broadway today.  Learn not just about the plays, but the entire life of the theatre.  Everything from how the legends lived, sharing rooms with 3, 4, sometime 5 other actors and resorting to "second-acting" to save a few bucks, to where they hung out everywhere from famous exclusive restaurants to Walgreen's drugstore.  This was a community where everyone knew each other, and helped out, and created a product that is unparalleled today.  As the director, Rick McKay announced before the film began: this film preserves the past with the technology of the future.   
  

Click here to see details on the entire cast of 100.

Now Playing at Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatre, 8000 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood.  Call 323-848-3500 or visit http://www.laemmle.com/theatres/sunset/sunset.html for show times.  Ticket prices: $9.50, $6.50 matinee.  Discounts for seniors and students.

Visit the Official Website for details:
http://www.broadwaythemovie.com/

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