Great Performances

Last updated
Great Performances
Great Perfomances TVSeries.jpg
Genre Performing arts
Created by Jac Venza
Directed bySteve Ruggi
Presented by Walter Cronkite (1988–2009)
Julie Andrews (1989–present)
Theme music composer John Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons48
Production
Production company WNET
Release
Original network PBS
Original releaseNovember 4, 1972 (1972-11-04) 
present
External links
Website

Great Performances is a television anthology series dedicated to the performing arts; the banner has been used to televise theatrical performances such as plays, musicals, opera, ballet, concerts, as well as occasional documentaries. It is produced by the PBS member station WNET in New York City (originally in conjunction with KQED/San Francisco, WTTW/Chicago, Maryland Public Television, South Carolina ETV and KERA-TV/Dallas/Fort Worth).

Contents

The series is the longest-running performing arts anthology on television and has won 29 Primetime Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards [1] [2] [3] and an Image Award, with nods from the Directors Guild of America and the Cinema Audio Society. [4]

History

Used Logo In 1985 Though 1991 Great Perfomances TVSeries.jpg
Used Logo In 1985 Though 1991

Great Performances' predecessor, New York Playhouse, premiered on October 7, 1972 with a production of Antigone . [5] In 1973, Exxon and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting provided grants to create Theater in America, which reran the New York Playhouse and some NET Playhouse productions. [6] The first original production for Theater in America was of Enemies . [7] In 1974, WNET added The Great Performance, a series of classical concerts. [8]

In 1976, Great Performances became the umbrella title and the music section was named Music in America. A third section, Dance In America, was also added. [9] [10] The first episode "Sue's Leg: Remembering the Thirties" featured choreography by Twyla Tharp. Later episodes featured such performers as Mikhail Baryshnikov. Although it is not seen as often as previously, there have recently been new Dance in America programs, such as the Emmy-winning 2005 production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake , starring Angel Corella, Gillian Murphy and the American Ballet Theatre.

In 2007, Great Performances began telecasting performances from the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series, [11] a series of HD opera tapings re-purposed from their original purpose as Fathom Events films carried in high-quality movie theaters for a premium admission price.

Repeat guest hosts include Walter Cronkite, Julie Andrews and Whoopi Goldberg. Major underwriters throughout the show's run have included The National Endowment for the Arts, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS viewers, Exxon, Martin Marietta, Texaco, Deluxe, Duracell, Ernst & Young, Chase Manhattan Bank and UBS.

In 2009, a new theme music for Great Performances was introduced, composed by John Williams. [12]

Episodes

Critical reception

Great Performances has received generally positive reviews from television critics and parents of young children. Roger Catlin of Hartford Courant wrote, "The classiest thing on TV." [13] Ryan Berenz of Channel Guide Magazine wrote, "Annie Lennox brings the house down." [14] Linda Winer of Newsday wrote for the episode, Billy Elliot, "As good as it gets." [15] Marissa Martinelli of Slate wrote for the episode, An American in Paris, "Spectacular." [16]

Related Research Articles

Alvin Ailey African-American dancer, choreographer and activist

Alvin Ailey, a.k.a. Alvin Ailey Jr., was an African-American dancer, director, choreographer, and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). He created AAADT and its affiliated Ailey School as havens for nurturing black artists and expressing the universality of the African-American experience through dance. His work fused theater, modern dance, ballet, and jazz with black vernacular, creating hope-fueled choreography that continues to spread global awareness of black life in America. Ailey's choreographic masterpiece Revelations is recognized as one of the most popular and most performed ballets in the world. In this work he blended primitive, modern and jazz elements of dance with a concern for black rural America. On July 15, 2008, the United States Congress passed a resolution designating AAADT a “vital American cultural ambassador to the World.” That same year, in recognition of AAADT's 50th anniversary, then Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared December 4 "Alvin Ailey Day" in New York City while then Governor David Paterson honoured the organization on behalf of New York State.

David Garrison American actor

David Earl Garrison is an American actor. His primary venue is live theatre, but he is best known as the character Steve Rhoades in the television series, Married... with Children. He has also appeared in numerous theatrical roles, particularly that of The Wizard on both Broadway and in many tours of the musical Wicked.

<i>Charlie Rose</i> (talk show) American television interview show

The Charlie Rose Show is an American television interview and talk show, with Charlie Rose as executive producer, executive editor, and host. The show was syndicated on PBS until 2017 and is owned by Charlie Rose, Inc. Rose interviewed thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, businesspersons, leaders, scientists, and fellow newsmakers.

Robert Gordon "Bob" Abernethy is an American journalist, best known for serving various roles during a 42-year career with NBC News. He later co-created, and was executive editor and host of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, which aired on PBS from 1997 until 2017.

Pamela Reed American actress

Pamela Reed is an American actress. She is known for playing Arnold Schwarzenegger's hypoglycemic police partner in the 1990 movie Kindergarten Cop and as the matriarch Gail Green in Jericho. She appeared as Marlene Griggs-Knope on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. She is also well known as the exasperated wife in Bean.

Harry Groener German-born American actor and dancer (born 1951)

Harry Groener is a German-born American actor and dancer, perhaps best known for playing Mayor Wilkins in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Grant Tinker American television executive and businessman

Grant Almerin Tinker was an American television executive who served as Chairman and CEO of NBC from 1981 to 1986. Additionally, he was a co-founder of MTM Enterprises and a television producer.

Sherman Yellen is an American playwright, screenwriter, and political commentator.

Capezio is the trade name of Capezio Ballet Makers Inc., an American manufacturer of dance shoes, apparel and accessories.

Paul Taylor Dance Company, is a modern dance company, formed by dancer and choreographer Paul Taylor (1930—2018). The modern dance company is based in New York, New York and was founded in 1954.

Bill Rauch American theatre director (born 1962)

Bill Rauch is an American theatre director. He was named the inaugural artistic director of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center in 2016. Currently in development, the Perelman is the final piece of the plan to revitalize the World Trade Center site and will create work which inspires hope.

Jac Venza

Jac Venza is an American public television producer who is directly responsible for most of the theatre and music programs that have been seen on PBS since its creation in 1970. From the early 1960s until his retirement in 2005, Venza brought such programs as NET Playhouse, Live from Lincoln Center, American Playhouse, American Masters, and Great Performances to millions of viewers. He won a Personal Peabody Award in 1998.

Susan Steinberg (producer)

Susan Steinberg is an American television producer, writer, and director. She is sometimes credited as Sue Steinberg.

Habib Azar is an American film, theater and television director based in New York City. He married his wife, Carla Azar, in 2011, and they have two children.

Marin Ireland American actress

Marin Yvonne Ireland is an American actress, who is known for her work in theatre, and was described by The New York Times as "one of the great drama queens of the New York stage."

Brock Seawell is an American producer of plays, television programs and feature films.

The Joy that Kills is a 1985 American made-for-television film adaptation of Kate Chopin's 1894 short story "The Story of an Hour." It was directed by Tina Rathborne and co-written by Rathbone and Nancy Dyer. It was broadcast on the PBS television program American Playhouse on January 28, 1985.

Anthony Roth Costanzo American countertenor, actor, and producer

Anthony Roth Costanzo is an American countertenor, actor, and producer who has led performances at opera companies around the world. Beginning his career in musical theatre at the age of 11, he has since been featured at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Glyndebourne Opera Festival, as well as in concert with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, he won first place at Plácido Domingo's international opera competition Operalia and, in 2009, was a Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. As an actor, he has performed in several films, including the Merchant Ivory film A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. As a producer and curator, he has created shows for National Sawdust, Opera Philadelphia, the Philharmonia Baroque, Princeton University, WQXR, The State Theater in Salzburg, MasterVoices, and Kabuki-za Tokyo. Costanzo is a graduate of Princeton University, where he has returned to teach, and he received his master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

Lynn Milgrim is an American film, television, and stage actress. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is best known as an accomplished stage actress and has been in numerous Broadway, national, and regional productions. She has also appeared in many feature films, television series, and television movies.

References

  1. 73rd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2014.
  2. 69th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2011.
  3. 63rd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2004.
  4. Comprehensive IMDb listing of awards
  5. O'Connor, John J. (1972-10-06). "TV Preview". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  6. "Exxon Gives WNET A $1‐Million Grant For Drama Series". The New York Times. 1973-05-02. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  7. Brown, Les (1974-01-10). "Channel 13 to Air Regional Theater". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  8. Brown, Les (1974-09-25). "Public TV to Ease Into Its New Season". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  9. Kisselgoff, Anna (1975-06-13). "$3‐Million Dance Series on WNET". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  10. Brown, Les (1975-12-20). "PBS Gets Exxon Grant for 100 Classics". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  11. PBS: Great Performances: Opera on Film
  12. "John Williams Composes Theme Music for Thirteen's Great Performances in Unique Collaboration" (Press release). WNET. March 16, 2009. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2017 via Reuters.
  13. CATLIN, ROGER (March 25, 2009). "STAYINGIN?". courant.com. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  14. "TCA: Annie Lennox brings the house down". Channel Guide Magazine. 2015-01-19. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  15. Winer, Linda (2015-10-22). "'Billy Elliot the Musical Live': As good as it gets". Newsday. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  16. Martinelli, Marissa (2018-09-21). "An American in Paris: The Musical Is Not Content to Be Simple Escapism". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2019-12-14.