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Elliot Norton Reviews; American Premiere Stage


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Elliot Norton Reviews
American Premiere Stage
Program Number


Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews artistic director Tom Bloom, actor Barry Nolan, and director Al Corona about the debut festival by the American Premiere Stage, a new professional theater company, at the Hasty Pudding Theater in Cambridge. They are in the first installment of three sets of three-one act plays. One of the plays is The Lady or the Tiger Show, a satire by Shel Silverstein, starring Barry Nolan and directed by Al Corona. Nolan, who is known as co-host of Channel 4’s Evening Magazine, plays a monstrous television producer. He is in the process of preparing a game show in which a middle-aged man will try to pick the door behind which his sweetheart is hiding. If he picks incorrectly, he will be attacked by a tiger in front of a live audience.

Bloom talks about the process of getting the rights to the show after its workshop performance in New York. Nolan talks about his previous roles and stage experience, which began when he was in graduate school at the University of Tennessee at Ralph Allen’s professional company and then later in New York. Nolan talks about playing the role of the television producer and how the character compares to real television producers. Nolan also compares his role to the Moliere’s play The Misanthrope. Corona talks about his experience with satire, including editing satirical writings for the comic group, The High Heeled Women. He talks about how he tried to create something that would capture the audience’s attention and how he balanced the comedy and bitterness of satire. He also talks about how he tried to keep the play within reality, with some exaggeration and attempted to avoid letting the play become silly.

Bloom talks about the how Art Wolfe read this play in Silverstein’s manuscripts and told him he needed to get it produced. Since then, producers have been knocking on Silverstein’s door to get more of his unpublished one-acts. They discuss how well-written and structured this play is for the stage and Nolan comments how well the dialogue is written for the voice of actors. Nolan talks about what he enjoys about performing in live theater, including the excitement of it all and hearing the audience’s laughter. Corona commends Nolan’s work ethic and “incredible storage of energy.”

Director: Joanna Lu.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; American Premiere Stage,” 11/12/1981, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 23, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0840933F955E4747814D63A666ED0CBA.
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; American Premiere Stage.” 11/12/1981. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 23, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0840933F955E4747814D63A666ED0CBA>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; American Premiere Stage. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_0840933F955E4747814D63A666ED0CBA
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