Broadway: The Golden Age
Not rated, 111 min. Directed by Rick McKay.
REVIEWED By Rachel Proctor May, Fri., Oct. 22, 2004
Ah, the good old days. What could be better than reminiscing about how they make this debased era look like so much cultural dross? Why, letting 100-odd well-preserved theatre professionals do the reminiscing for you. This is Broadway: The Golden Age, Rick McKay's epic oral history of the heyday of the Great White Way as told by the people who were living on graham crackers and dreams back when it was all going on. Consisting of five years' worth of interviews illustrated by a mountain of archival footage, the film sails on the actors' consistent ability to spin a good yarn – as well as their seemingly bottomless repository of good yarns to spin. Who knew that Walgreens was the hip hangout for aspiring thespians? Or that Carol Burnett and her three roommates would share a single Bloomingdale's dress, worn in turns, for their big auditions? Broadway: The Golden Age reveals all this and more; and one can only imagine the glee with which theatre historians will welcome the many hours of interviews that didn't make the cut. (Reprinted from the Chronicle's Austin Film Festival 2003 roundup.)