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THEATER TALK to Welcome Maslon, Maltby & Meehan This Week

Audiences have long known their preferences for great American musicals and their respective songwriters, yet few know about the librettists whose narrative structures for musicals (known as "books") hold the shows together. On an all-new THEATER TALK, esteemed librettists Richard Maltby, Jr. (Miss Saigon, Ain't Misbehavin') and Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers) join writer/historian Laurence Maslon, editor of a new two-volume collection, American Musicals: The Complete Books and Lyrics of 16 Broadway Classics 1927-1969 (Library of America), to discuss the unique alchemy of a successful libretto.

Topics in the program include what all agree is the first great American musical, Show Boat, as well as the other works in the anthology by Oscar Hammerstein II, Oklahoma! and (republished after decades), South Pacific. The panel also discusses the dynamic book for Gypsy by Arthur Laurents, and enduring later works like Fiddler on the Roof (Joseph Stein) and 1776 (Peter Stone). Another topic is Moss Hart's 1933 review, As Thousands Cheer (score by Irving Berlin), a satire of then-contemporary celebrities and news in a form, the sketch-comedy musical, which after the advent of television became obsolete on the Broadway stage.

Co-hosted by Michael Riedel of the New York Post and executive producer, Susan Haskins - this latest edition of THEATER TALK, a 2015 NY Emmy® Nominee for the Best NYC Interview/Discussion Program, premieres in the NYC metropolitan area on Friday, February 20 at 1 AM (Saturday morning) on Thirteen/PBS, with repeats on CUNY TV* on Saturday 2/21 at 8:30 PM, Sunday 2/22 at 12:30 PM, and Monday 2/23 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM.

THEATER TALK is jointly produced by the not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. The program is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 100+ participating public television stations nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The CUNY TV Foundation and The Friends of THEATER TALK.

*CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is broadcast over-the-air in the New York metropolitan area on digital Ch. 25.3, and cablecast in THE FIVE boroughs of New York City on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Cablevision/Optimum), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS). The show is available online anytime at and, and via iTunes podcasts.

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