For fans of drama and students of the creative process, the Museum of Radio and Television (MTR) will present Orson Welles "reworking and challenging the medium of television" in a bi-coastal screening of his Peabody Award-winning television pilot "The Fountain of Youth."
MTR will show "The Fountain of Youth" in New York March 31-May 7 and in Los Angeles March 31 - May 21.
Welles was the creative genius behind the Mercury Theatre, the classic radio show "The War of the Worlds" and the film "Citizen Kane." Produced for Desilu in 1956, "The Fountain of Youth" is described as a "slyly stylized fable of greed and lust for youth." Paramount Pictures has remastered the program for MTR.
A paper statement from MTR indicates that this is the first authorized public screening of the pilot in more than forty years. The MTR package will also include Welles' 1956 appearance on "I Love Lucy" and a rarely seen 1955 interview with journalist Edward R. Murrow.
With "The Fountain of Youth" Orson Welles was a virtual one-man show, serving as writer, director, producer, production designer, musical arranger, narrator and host. Employing a variety of techniques and effects, "The Fountain of Youth" was considered so far ahead of its time it was ultimately rejected by the networks and sat on Desilu's shelf for years before finally airing as an episode of Colgate Theatre on September 16, 1958. In addition to Welles, the show stars Rick Jason, Joi Lansing, and Dan Tobin. In Los Angeles, a related seminar will be held on May 16 featuring Dann Cahn, editor, "The Fountain of Youth"; Norman Corwin, radio collaborator; Rick Jason, star of "Fountain of Youth"; and Norman Lloyd, theatre collaborator.
Licensed by Paramount Pictures and the Estate of Orson Welles, the screenings are free to members of MTR with a suggested donation of $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for senior citizens and students and $3.00 for children under thirteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles. In New York, MTR is located at 25 West 52 Street; in Los Angeles, MTR is located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. Programs are subject to change. For New York information call (212) 621-6800 or in Los Angeles call (310) 786-1000. The MTR website is www.mtr.org.
-- By Murdoch McBride