Miniseries goes behind the scenes of musicals
A new miniseries is taking viewers behind the scenes of some of the most beloved Broadway musicals, featuring several national tour productions like Dirty Dancing, Disney’s Newsies, Pippin and Motown the Musical. Lifetime Television’s morning show “The Balancing Act” opened the miniseries on September 9 and 16 with backstage footage of Dirty Dancing. It will return on October 29 with footage of Pippin before moving on to look at Newsies and Motown the Musical.
The miniseries, titled “Broadway Balances America,” includes exclusive behind-the-scenes excerpts and interviews with each show’s casts, creative teams and crews – even experiencing what it’s like to dance in their shoes.
Host Olga Villaverde had the time of her life when she traveled to Orlando and danced with “Johnny Castle,” the star of Dirty Dancing. She even learned the iconic leap that stole people’s hearts in the original movie classic. Amber Milt goes backstage for a “Supreme” transformation at Motown the Musical, which tells the behind-the-hits story of Motown founder Berry Gordy and the launch of legendary girl group The Supremes, The Jackson Five and more. Disney’s Newsies, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical, tells the true and captivating story of the 1899 newsboys’ strike and a band of underdogs who fight for what’s right while staying true to themselves. The segment focuses on Disney’s new national campaign, the “Get Up and Go!” program, which promotes fun ways for kids to lead more active and healthier lifestyles through Newsies’ Tony Award-winning choreography and music. Lastly, Pippin takes us into a captivating world of aerial acrobatics and temptation in this brand new Tony Award-winning production in which a young prince must decide whether he should risk it all in a blaze of glory or choose a simpler path as he searches for the meaning of life.
In addition to many other cities, all four of these shows are being presented at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre as part of the 2014-15 Broadway in Atlanta series. The next air dates for “Broadway Balances America” on “The Balancing Act” are October 29 and November 5 for Pippin, November 6 and 13 for Disney’s Newsies and November 8 and 25 for Motown the Musical.
Dr. Thomas C. Deters, the president and CEO of O2 Media, the producer of “The Balancing Act,” said, “We are really excited to partner with Broadway Across America so together we can take our viewers behind-the-scenes of the most popular Broadway shows now touring all across the country and meet some of the actors, directors and choreographers who bring it all to life. Also, with ‘the Arts’ being taken out of so many school curriculums, it’s great that Broadway Classroom provides students an opportunity to connect with the art community. We’re thrilled that Broadway Across America shares our passion for helping empower adults and kids alike and to instill and cultivate an appreciation for the Arts.”
Lauren Reid, the CEO of the Theater Division at Broadway Across America, said, “Broadway musicals are not just the New York art form; they are the great American art form. We thank our network of local theater partners nationwide and ‘The Balancing Act’ for helping us share Broadway with that wider audience across the country.”
The final segment takes viewers into Broadway Classroom where students are introduced to all elements of the Broadway industry in collaboration with performers and industry professionals. Classes range from Broadway 101, an introduction to Broadway, to Musical Theatre Song and Movement, a master class where students learn the music, choreography and staging from a current Broadway musical.
To learn more about this miniseries, visit www.broadwaybalancesamerica.com.
Photo: Behind the scenes at a Dirty Dancing rehearsal. Photo courtesy of Broadway Across America.