America's Greatest Broadway Hits
Friday Night is Music Night celebrates America's Greatest Broadway Hits with Paul Gambaccini - live from the Mermaid Theatre in London.
Every Saturday on Radio 2 Paul Gambaccini guides us through a selection of America's Greatest Hits focussing on US chart hits of the last six decades. In this special edition of Friday Night is Music Night Paul turns his attention to the greatest hits of Broadway.
Broadway - the Great White Way . Originally little more than a track - the Wickquasgeck Trail - cut by the native Americans across the swamps of Manhattan island. Today - 40 theatres on a street between 42nd and 53rd Streets make up the heart of America's theatre land.
Paul introduces Broadway hits from Jerome Kern's Showboat premiered on December 27, 1927 at the Ziegfeld Theatre and considered the first ever Broadway musical. Alongside songs from the great Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein catalogue of shows such as Oklahoma; Carousel; South Pacific and the Sound of Music. Then amongst the razzamatazz of the big home grown American musicals a big splash of Union Jack pride with hits from - Cats; Phantom of the Opera as well as Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.
Mike Dixon conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra with guest vocalists - Sarah Fox; Lucy Williamson; Fra Fee and Keel Watson.
During the interval Baylen Leonard takes a virtual trip round the musical mecca called Broadway in the company of Olivier-award winning actress Leigh Zimmerman and our First Lady of Musical Theatre Elaine Paige.
The concert was first broadcast in August 2013.