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Elliot Norton Reviews; They're Playing Our Song


Preservation Dub from 2” Master ; transferred 8/27/99

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Elliot Norton Reviews
They're Playing Our Song
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 actors Marsha Skaggs and Victor Garber about their production of They’re Playing our Song, directed by Robert Moore at the Shubert Theatre. The musical is written by Neil Simon with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager and music by Marvin Hamlisch. The musical is based on the real-life relationship of the lyricist Carole Bayer Sager and composer Marvin Hamlisch as represented through the characters of Sonia (Skaggs) and Vernon (Garber).

Garber talks about how he has played the role of Vernon for sixteen months starting in Chicago and discusses the difficulties of doing a long run. The actors talk about how the play starts to speed up as they perform the same show night after night. They discuss the relationship between Sager and Hamlisch and how closely the musical is based on reality. They talk about the conflation of actors and the roles they play in the eyes of the audience. As an example of this, aspiring song writers have approached them with their songs, because they thought that they were really a lyricist and composer. They talk about Neil Simon’s sense of humor and praise how well he has constructed the show. They talk about how the director tells them not to let the laughs “seduce” them, but rather to play for the content of the show and let the laughs follow.

Director: Russ Fortier. Taped 1/14/1981.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; They're Playing Our Song,” 04/14/1981, GBH Archives, accessed June 18, 2024,
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; They're Playing Our Song.” 04/14/1981. GBH Archives. Web. June 18, 2024. <>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; They're Playing Our Song. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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