Though known primarily for his stage efforts, and secondarily for his occasional film work, playwright-actor-composer Noel Coward made his share of television appearances. Over the past month, New York's Museum of Television and Film has screened many of these in a series called "Mad About the Boy: Noel Coward on Television." The program, which began Sept. 17, ends its stay at the museum on Oct. 21.
The last attraction to be screened is "Cowardly Delights," a collage of the playwright's television appearances, including spots on "The Dick Cavett Show," "What's My Line?" "Small World" and an interview with Edward R. Morrow. "Cowardly Delights" runs through Oct. 21.
The first program to be shown in the series was "Ford Star Jubilee: Together with Music" (1955), a variety show featuring Coward (in his small screen debut) and Mary Martin, singing such songs as "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." Also featured was "Producers Showcase: Tonight at 8:30" (1954), a television adaptation of Coward's trio of one-acts, directed by Hollywood's Otto Preminger and starring Ginger Rogers (her first television work), Trevor Howard, Gig Young and a young Gloria Vanderbilt.
Another attraction, "Ford Star Jubilee: Blithe Spirit" (1956), a television adaptation of Coward's play, was thought lost until star Lauren Bacall produced a copy. Bacall, who plays Elvira, co-stars with Claudette Colbert and Coward himself, all under the playwright's direction.
The Museum of Television and Radio is located at 25 W. 52nd Street. For information on remaining screenings call (212) 621-6800, or check their web site at http://www.mtr.org. -- by Robert Simonson