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Elliot Norton Reviews; Carol Channing: Sugar Babies


1999 MAPC Preservation Master

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Elliot Norton Reviews
Carol Channing: Sugar Babies
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 actor Carol Channing about her touring production of the burlesque musical revue, Sugar Babies, with music by Jimmy McHugh. At the time of the interview, the musical was playing at the Colonial Theatre and she was playing alongside Robert Morse. She talks about how she originally wanted to do a show about burlesque dancer Lydia Thompson, but her life was too boring. When she was offered a role on the national tour of Sugar Babies, after its success on Broadway, she was happy to do burlesque material, even if it did not have to do with Lydia Thompson. In the show, there are elements of minstrels, burlesque, vaudeville, and musical comedy. Channing and Norton talk about the precise timing that is needed to make the show so funny. She talks about rehearsing the comic bits with comedians to get the timing just right and make people laugh. They discuss the differences between the Broadway original and this touring company. They talk about the revival of revues on Broadway that this show sparked. For a time, there were so many revues on television, that they were not needed on Broadway. They also discuss the use of live doves on the stage, which were trained specifically for this show.

Director: Joanna Lu. Taped 9/29/1980.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Carol Channing: Sugar Babies,” 09/29/1980, GBH Archives, accessed May 24, 2024,
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Carol Channing: Sugar Babies.” 09/29/1980. GBH Archives. Web. May 24, 2024. <>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Carol Channing: Sugar Babies. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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