McKay wrote, produced and directed both films. He will be at the festival to introduce all three screenings and to do Q&A’s with some of the film’s cast members after each screening on January 7, 8 and 10.
Part one, "Broadway: The Golden Age," was filled with interviews and archival footage of Broadway shows from the earliest days through the 1920s and the World War II era, up to the 1959 season.
Part two will focus on the period from 1959 to 1983, and features rare and previously unseen footage and interviews with more than 100 Broadway stars including Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing, Jane Fonda, Kaye Ballard, Gwen Verdon, Dick Van Dyke, Carol Burnett, Robert Redford, Chita Rivera, Ben Vereen and others. Among highlights are interviews with the original dancers whose lives became the story of A Chorus Line.
The film uses the original casts of legendary musicals to tell the story of the creation of Bye, Bye Birdie; Fiorello; Pippin; 42nd Street and Chicago – featuring appearances by Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, Jerry Orbach, Dick Van Dyke, Liza Minnelli, Ben Vereen, Candy Brown, John Rubinstein, Tom Bosley and many more. The original cast members Elizabeth Ashley and Robert Redford recount the casting and the opening night of Neil Simon's long-running hit play Barefoot in the Park.
Special attention is paid to minorities on Broadway, including the story of Jane White, whose father was the head of the NAACP in the 1950s when Jane went "white face" to play the queen in 1959’s Once Upon a Mattress. The show’s composer, Mary Rodgers, its star, Carol Burnett and White bring to life the story of the creation of Mattress and racism on Broadway.Original cast members Ken Page, Andre de Shields, Armelia McQueen and Charlaine Woodard tell the story of the birth of Ain’t Misbehavin'. And Raisin in the Sun’s historic journey to Broadway with its groundbreaking creative team, is recounted by interviews with original cast members Lou Gossett, Jr. and Glynn Turman, as well as the final interviews of producer Philip Rose and director Lloyd Richards.
Watch a sample of the latest film below: