Under pressure to reaffirm their marriage vows, two middle aged people explore their dreams and the present direction of their lives. "Infinitely perceptive and deeply touching," (Newsday), this playfeatures a stellar cast including Emmy-winners Richard Crenna and Susan Clark, Emmy-nominees Irene Tedrow and Harold Gould, and Norma Crane.
Veteran husband-and-wife acting team, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, star as a 38-year-old truck driver and a weary cigarette girl from a nightclub who elope and discover they know very little about each other in Don Appell's bittersweet 1954 Broadway comedy. The mama's boy's domineering mother gives them no peace or privacy on their honeymoon and soon the marriage turns into the eternal triangle - with his mother as the "other woman."
Ingrid Bergman plays a middle-aged woman going through a psychological crisis as a love affair ends. French playwright Jean Cocteau's one-character drama unfolds in the form of an extended monologue - a one-sided telephone conversation in which the woman tries to win back her lover despite her growing suspicion that he is calling from his young fiancee's home.
Originally produced in 1971 by the estimable Negro Ensemble Company, and hailed by Time Magazine as one of the best plays of the year, Dean's powerful drama is about an uprooted black family (mother, daughter, uncle) living in Chicago during the time that civil rights leaders were starting to organize protest marches in the South. The family members essentially accept the old values and cherish what they love, and are uncomfortable by marches and talks of fighting. A blind street singer (Richard Ward, in a bravura performance) intrudes briefly into their lives, with shattering effect. Who shall overcome?
Arkady Leokum's humorous short play, originally presented on Hollywood Television Theatre in 1971, is based on the author's personal experiences as a waiter at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. Veteran character actor Sam Jaffe portrays a humble and longsuffering New York waiter who finally turns the tables on a regular, but insufferable, customer (Ned Glass) who delights in pestering him about the service. Both men are somewhat deceptive and the relationship between the two turns when it is revealed that the waiter is a skilled investor and a part-owner of the restaurant and building.
A provacative, emotion-packed drama about race relations in an all-white suburban community, this play depicts the confrontaion between an upper-class white couple and a black couple from Harlem who plan to buy their expensive suburban home. In negotiating the sale, all four parties learn a little more about each other ... and a lot about their own latent prejudices.
This post-civil war court martial drama focuses on the trial of a Confederate officer who ran the notorious prisoner of war camp in Andersonville, Georgia, where over 14,000 Union prisoners died from disease, starvation and neglect. The defendant, Captain Henry Wirz, justified his actions with a plea that he was only following orders. He believed he was relieved of any personal responsibility because he was performing his duty. The Army prosecutor contends, however, that moral men must rebel against barbaric or inhumane orders - even if they are within the framework imposed by military discipline. This riveting real-life story has elements of Inherit the Wind, The Caine Mutiny, A Few Good Men, and especially the Nuremberg and Eichmann war crime trials. George C. Scott, who had played a starring role in the original 1959 Broadway production, directs the Hollywood Television Theatre adaptation, and prompts uniformly strong acting from a brilliant cast that includes William Shatner, Martin Sheen, Richard Basehart, Jack Cassidy, Buddy Ebsen and Alan Hale.
In a 17th century Massachusetts town, a scarecrow is magically transformed into a man and charged with the mission of destroying true love. Spectacular performances by two-time Oscar-nominee Gene Wilder and Tony Award-winner Blythe Danner. Also starring Norman Lloyd and Will Geer.
Surprisingly, this powerful drama may also be seen as a brilliant dark comedy. It tells the story of Tomby, a retarded teenage boy who manipulates his family who caters to his every desire. Only his twin brother Greg (Richard Dreyfuss) treats him as a human being capable of development. Their mother (Geraldine Fitzgerald) knows Tomby's deepest secret. Dreyfuss is at his best, Fitzgerald is chilling. Very original in its presentation, Untold Damage offers a great surprising ending. Program originally aired as Me.
Attention must be paid to this abbreviated but superb 1966 television adaptation by Arthur Miller of his Pultizer Prize-winning modern tragedy, starring the incomparable Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock recreating their original Broadway roles as the Lomans. In a career-defining performance, Cobb portrays the suffering Willy Loman - the middle-aged man at the end of his emotional rope - with Dunnock equally impressive as his patient wife, Linda. George Segal and James Farentino play their disillusioned sons, Biff and Happy.
With his trademark unrelenting honesty and conviction, Arthur Miller examines a major Holocaust issue: the failure to assume responsibility and the consequent moral and social guilt of those who refuse to fight evil. Set in a detention room in Vichy, France during the 1942 German occupation, a number of people have been rounded up and are awaiting interrogation before being sent to concentration camps. It is soon obvious that they are Jews with false papers that will not stand up to close scrutiny. While individual stories flow past the juror's eye, events soon focus on Leduc (Harris Yulin), a psychiatrist, and an Austrian prince (Richard Jordan), who recognizes his guilt of silent complicity and his failure to act responsibly while the Germans rose to power. Miller raises theoretical and ideological arguments and brings up the question of where responsibility lies. Notions of the nature of personal sacrifice, issues of personal blame, and a debate on how much each person is obligated to help in a larger crisis are addressed in this truly important and provocative television event.
Is a sensitive and mysterious poet really an IRA gunman in hiding? Set in a Dublin tenement in the 1920's, The Shadow of a Gunman was the first part of O'Casey's celebrated Dublin Trilogy. Equal parts comedy and tragedy, this classic play is brilliantly performed by a stellar cast.
Walter Matthau heads the cast of this television recreation of Clifford Odets' 1935 hit Broadway play, the first full-length work performed on the commercial stage by the legendary Group Theatre. This portrait of a Jewish family in a Bronx tenement perfectly captures the spirit of the Depression years, and is suffused with details of character and place that combine to be affecting even now. The Bergers, burdened by financial difficulties, have taken in a border - Moe Axelrod (Matthau) - who lost a leg in World War I. Cynical and outspoken, Moe adds a spark to the somewhat accepting lives of the Bergers. The family fights to survive on sixteen dollars a week while the intellectual, Marxist-leaning grandfather (brilliantly played by famed Yiddish theatre star, Leo Fuchs) tries futilely to spur his family to action with the injunction, "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust." (Isaiah 26:19)
Jason Robards, Jr. became an overnight star with his indelible performance as the gladhanding, doom-ridden Hickey in the legendary 1956 Circle-in-the-Square revival of Eugene O'Neill's towering masterpiece (first staged in 1939). In his harrowing drama, O'Neill shines a harsh but compassionate spotlight on the failed lives, empty hopes, and perpetual pipe dreams of an assortment of down-and-out denizens of a seedy saloon, set in New York in 1912. Their sad, but complacent existences are rattled when Hickey arrives for his annual bender a changed man - forswearing alcohol and preaching a deliverance from "the lie of the pipe dream."
Theatrical sparks flew when veteran O'Neill interpreters Jason Robards, Jr. and Colleen Dewhurst joined forces in the celebrated 1973 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s tender semiautobiographical drama. Under the inspired direction of Jose Quintero, they helped transform the neglected 1947 work into a now-recognized modern masterpiece. In a towering performance, the late, great Jason Robards portrays a cynical, self-hating alcoholic actor based on O’Neill’s elder brother, Jamie. The majestic Colleen Dewhurst plays the earthy, gruff daughter of his scheming Irish tenant farmer (Ed Flanders) with whom the failed actor spends a soul-baring night of guilt-ridden confessions, tenderness, and absolution. Both Dewhurst and Flanders won Tony Awards for their performances.
Luigi Pirandello's modern classic, starring Andy Griffith in a brilliant departure from his television persona as a country sheriff, along with Academy Award-winner John Houseman (The Paper Chase), is directed by Stacy Keach, who has transposed the play's traditional theatrical setting to a television studio. As a group of actors prepare for a rehearsal of a TV adaptation of another Pirandello play - The Rules of the Game - the television monitors in the control booth give way to an electrical interference which inexplicably replaces the images of the actors with the images of six mysterious strangers. These are the "six characters" of the title who appear in the flesh in the studio to confront the director and actors with the proposition that their story is more interesting
than the play at hand. They gradually take over the stage to act out their story, each character representing a different point of view. A groundbreaking work which has exerted considerable influence on 20th Century drama.
Five-time Tony Award-winner, Julie Harris, recreates her 1972 award-winning Broadway portrayal in this powerful and touching look at the final seventeen years in the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, widow to the martyred President. Based on real events, this production casts a sad and sympathetic light onto this frighteningly complicated woman. Mary Lincoln scavenges desperately for money, loses a cherished son to consumption, is branded a lunatic and committed to a mental institution; culminating with her spending her final days fleeing from the preying eyes of the public and a scandal-hungry press.
This is a play about the fantasies, inhabitions and dreams of two lonely matrons who set up competing lemonade stands along a jammed highway. Lemonade incorporates comedy and tragedy, a touch of the bizarre, and ultimately, a sincere compassion in both women.
Legendary filmmaker Jean Renoir's suspenseful and romantic tale of a beautiful French actress struggling to avoid the deadly politics and forbidden passions of Nazi-occupied France. The drama takes place backstage in a theatre where a play is in progress and the German Gestapo is looking for a French underground leader who they know is hiding there. Mel Ferrer portrays the head of the German occupying forces who renews an unexpected liaison with Leslie Caron, a glamorous star of boulevard farces. Can she - as she insists in the beginning - turn her back on politics, turn her back on the war and devote herself solely to her art? Before the play is over, Carola must make a major decision, which is a matter of life and death - her own.
In My Heart's in the Highlands, an aspiring poet (Matthau) and his young son - financially impoverished, but rich in dreams and generous of spirit - struggle to survive while never ceasing to care for the well being of their fellow man.
In Once Around the Block, a screenwriter with a reputation as a lady's man offers advice to a young writer on how he too can be highly appealing the the opposite sex, yielding some rather suprising results. Starring Oscar-winner Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman and Orson Bean.
Veteran husband-and-wife acting couple, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, long associated with comic playwright Murray Schisgal, reprise the roles they created in the original 1963 hit off-Broadway production. Consigned to spend the rest of their lives in a duplicating shop copying names out of a telephone directory, Wallach plays a married man, a typist new to the office, and Jackson is the spinster supervisor who breaks him in. Through their random conversations, the two strangers learn a lot about each other and a lot more about themselves.
Joseph Papp's 1972 CBS-TV television production of The New York Shakespeare Festival's Broadway staging of Shakespeare's rollicking comedy is brassy, bouncy and all-together entertaining. Featuring Sam Waterston and the Tony nominated performances of Kathleen Widdoes and Barnard Hughes, Papp's turn-of-the-century version has Teddy Roosevelt roughriders and bicycle-riding women suffragettes, but remains faithful to the classic tale: Beatrice and Benedick are still sparring partners fighting their merry war of words; the evil Don Jon continues conspiring to break up the wedding of Hero and Claudio; and it's once again up to Dogbery to save the day. Critically acclaimed and enormously popular with audiences, Much Ado About Nothing, originated at the open-air Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, was transferred to Broadway and was perceived as the first successful Shakespeare to play without a major star in Broadway history.
Joe Saul, a veteran circus performer is slowly being destroyed by the realization that he will die without having fathered a child. In an act of extraordinary sacrifice and compassion, his wife, Mordeen, takes desperate measures to save him. Steinbeck's classic play is brilliantly acted by a fantastic cast, led by four-time Emmy-winner Colleen Dewhurst (Murphy Brown) and Tony-winner Myron McCormick (South Pacific).
Oscar winner Meryl Streep stars in this delightful "music hall" version of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Also starring Emmy winner Debbie Allen, Mark Linn-Baker and Betty Aberlin, Alice at the Palace is an entertaining and shrewdly conceived retelling of the Lewis Carroll classics with all of the beloved characters - from the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat to the Queen of Hearts - given a unique twist by the witty and charming performances of an accomplished theatrical ensemble. The play was adapted for television from Elizabeth Swados' New York Shakespeare Festival production entitled Alice in Concert, for which Obie Award-winner Swados also composed the score, adapted the book and directed for the stage. Originally broadcast as part of NBCTV's "Project Peacock" series in 1982.