LEONARD SOLOWAY'S BROADWAY to Premiere in NYC Nov. 4-7
Leonard Soloway's Broadway, a new documentary produced and directed by Jeff Wolk (After Louie; Last Glimmer of Day) will premiere at The Landmark at 57th Street (657 W. 57th Street) in New York City from November 4-7 and will be distributed digitally by 1091 to various platforms beginning on November 12. The film will also screen at several film festivals around the country prior to its digital distribution.
Leonard Soloway's Broadway pulls back the curtain of one of the most admired and loved Broadway producers and general managers you've probably never heard of. Through interviews, photos and other archival material, this film is an inside look at the "business" of "show business" in a career that has spanned more than seventy years. Leonard Soloway has been involved with over 150 productions, including Waiting in the Wings with Lauren Bacall and Rosemary Harris, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, A Moon For the Misbegotten and Mark Twain Tonight! with Hal Holbrook.
His productions collected more than 40 Tony Awards, 21 Drama Desk Awards and three Pulitzer Prizes. In addition to launching many careers from performers to craftspeople, Leonard has worked with veteran stage actors like Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst as well as film stars like Paul Newman whose revival of Our Town on Broadway was facilitated by Mr. Soloway.
At the age of 90, Leonard Soloway's love for the theatre has not dimmed. As he faces the challenges of a new production, from raising money to weathering the anticipation of reviews, he is ready with a smile and a wink. Even as we witness his latest production come to a disappointing end in the course of this film, Leonard Soloway is still enamored with the "lullaby of Broadway" as he plans his next production.
Leonard Soloway's Broadway is also a story of a gay man who never hid his identity at a time when this just wasn't done.
The documentary, narrated by Campbell Scott (Noises Off; upcoming A Christmas Carol), features candid interviews with Screen Actors Guild Award winner John Slattery ("Mad Men;" Laughter on the 23rd Floor), Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh (Yentl; Irena's Vow), Academy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Olympia Dukakis (Steel Magnolias, Social Security), Tony Award Winner Elizabeth Ashley (Cat On A Hot Tin Roof; Take Her, She's Mine), Tony Award Winner Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins' Broadway; Zorba), Multiple Tony Award winning producer Manny Azenberg, Chairman of The Shubert Organization and Theater Hall of Fame Inductee Philip J. Smith and Shubert Organization President Robert E. Wankel.
Before the film is released on November 12, it will be shown in Chicago at the Reeling LGBTQ+ International Film Festival (September 25), in Atlanta at the Out on Film Festival (October 1), in New York at NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival (October 28), and in Alabama at the Fairhope Film Festival (November 14).
Leonard Soloway said, "I've always been behind the scenes, so having a film based on my life and experiences is a bit surreal. I guess we never know how our story can impact others because we are busy living our lives but I hope that this film shows that being true to yourself and following your passions are the way to happiness and personal fulfillment. Though a standing ovation at a curtain call ain't that bad either."
"After meeting Leonard as a producer of his show Maurice Hines: Tappin' Through Life, it dawned on me that he would be a great subject of a documentary" said producer and director Jeff Wolk. "Audiences see actors and performers on stage but don't know what goes on to make these productions happen. I hope this documentary sheds some light on the theater industry while showcasing a man who didn't just twist the rules... he broke them."
Leonard Soloway is a Broadway Producer whose career spans 70 years and over 100 productions. A native of Cleveland his personal LIFE STORY and professional accomplishments take one on a journey from the very beginning of the Off-Broadway scene to the world of smash hits that made Broadway history. His work has been honored with TONY AWARDS and Pulitzer Prizes and he has worked with many of the brightest creative talents on the Great White Way including Jerome Robbins, Colleen Dewhurst, Jason Robards and Paul Newman. Leonard's witty personality has made him as legendary among his peers as he is beloved. An elegant, openly gay, charismatic man, Leonard is admired by friends and colleagues for his honesty, often a tall order in a tough business. Leonard Soloway fell in love with theatre as a teenager and that passion is still there. At the age of 90, he is preparing new productions to take to Broadway with undaunted optimism.
Jeff Wolk (Producer and Director) is an award-winning independent filmmaker. In 2009, after a long career in the New York real estate business, he launched Hawk House Productions, a production company whose main focus is cinematic and character-driven films. In 2014, he was an executive producer on A Birders Guide to Everything, featuring Sir Ben Kingsley which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Narrative Feature at the Cleveland International Film Festival. In 2017, he executive produced the feature narrative After Louie, starring Alan Cumming, which played in over 70 Festivals world-wide and was released in 2017.