‘Present Laughter’ (Photo: Joan Marcus)
This fall, PBS brings viewers broadcast premieres of Broadway’s best every Friday night, beginning October 20 with a Great Performances special, “She Loves Me,” starring Laura Benanti, Zachery Levi, Jane Krakowski and Gavin Creel. On October 27, Live From Lincoln Center‘s Falsettos, set amidst the emerging AIDS crisis, takes an alternately comic and poignant look at a modern family. Great Performances specials continue on November 3 with the classic comedy, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, about a self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis, starring Kevin Kline in his Tony Award-winning performance, as well as Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen and Cobie Smulders.
November 10 brings the encore presentation of In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams, showcasing the 2008 musical that launched Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rise to stardom. On November 17, Great Performances brings PBS viewers Indecent, a play set at a time when waves of immigrants were changing the face of America, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel and directed by this year’s Tony Award-winner Rebecca Taichman. Great Performances‘ Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, the acclaimed Broadway adaptation of the 1942 movie musical featuring a treasure trove of the great composer’s classic songs, premieres on November 24. Lastly, a special encore presentation of the acclaimed documentary and viewer favorite “Hamilton’s America” airs in December (check local listings). All four of the new Great Performances productions were directed for television by the series’ executive producer David Horn.
“PBS brings the best performing arts to the American public, and we’re excited to continue this legacy with our stellar Broadway lineup this fall,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “Grab a comfy chair and kick back after a long week with this incredible collection of Friday evening performances.”
Broadway’s Best on PBS will air the following Friday nights this fall:
GREAT PERFORMANCES “She Loves Me”
Friday, October 20, 9:00-11:30 p.m. ET
Two feuding clerks in a 1930s Budapest parfumerie unwittingly find solace in each other as anonymous romantic pen pals—not realizing their respective correspondents are in fact each other. Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski and Gavin Creel star in this Tony Award-nominated Roundabout Theatre production as Best Musical revival.
LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER “Falsettos”
Friday, October 27, 9:00-11:30 p.m. ET
Nominated for five 2017 Tony Awards, this poignant look at a modern family set at the cusp of the emerging AIDS crisis stars Christian Borle, with Stephanie J. Block as his ex-wife and Andrew Rannells as his lover.
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Noël Coward’s Present Laughter”
Friday, November 3, 9:00-11:30 p.m. ET
Enjoy a sparkling revival of Noël Coward’s comedy about a self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis. The cast features Kevin Kline, who won the 2017 Best Leading Actor Tony Award, as well as Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen and Cobie Smulders.
GREAT PERFORMANCES “In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams” (encore)
Friday, November 10, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
In the aftermath of the phenomenal success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton, Great Performances presents a special encore of the performance-documentary chronicling the story behind Miranda’s first Tony Award-winning hit in 2008.
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Indecent”
Friday, November 17, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET
A new play from Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel and director Rebecca Taichman is set at a time when waves of immigrants were changing the face of America. The Tony Award-winning drama with music, a riveting look at an explosive moment in theatrical history, is inspired by the true story of the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance.
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn”
Friday, November 24, 9:00-11:30 p.m. ET
The Roundabout Theatre Company presents a Broadway adaptation of the classic 1942 movie musical that starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, showcasing a score bursting with Irving Berlin songs. The heartwarming classic with a contemporary sparkle features thrilling dance numbers, laugh-out-loud comedy and a hit parade of Berlin songs.
And early next year, Live From Lincoln Center will put a spotlight on Stephanie J. Block, Sutton Foster, Leslie Odom Jr. and Andrew Rannells with four new episodes, one for each performer, illuminating their musical journeys to stardom, revisiting favorite songs and offering glimpses of future projects. The performances, which also include guest star appearances, will be filmed before audiences at The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center in December 2017, and will premiere on PBS in 2018.
Full episodes of each show will stream for free following broadcast and will be available for two weeks on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. Following the two weeks, PBS station members can view episodes via Passport, a benefit for donors, offering extended access to a rich library of public television programming (contact your local PBS station for details).