Museum of TV & Radio Offers Two Versions of Billy Budd in October

News   Museum of TV & Radio Offers Two Versions of Billy Budd in October The Museum of Television & Radio will screen two versions of Herman Melville's Billy Budd in October.

The Museum of Television & Radio will screen two versions of Herman Melville's Billy Budd in October.

Melville's tale of a spirited young sailor and the master-at-arms who plots his ruin was first published in 1924, three decades after the author's death. In 1951 there were two productions of Budd: Louis O. Coxe and Robert Chapman's Broadway play and Benjamin Britten's opera.

An adaptation of the Broadway play was telecast on "DuPont Show of the Month" in May 1959. That program, currently being screened at the Museum, cast Don Murray as Billy, James Donald as Captain Vere, Alfred Ryder (an eleventh-hour replacement for an indisposed Jason Robards) as Claggart, Roddy McDowall as Squeak and George Ebeling as Dansker. Produced by David Susskind, the TV "Billy Budd" was written by Jacqueline Babbin and Audrey Gellen and featured direction by Robert Mulligan.

On Oct. 18 the Museum will begin screening "NBC Opera Theatre: Scenes from 'Billy Budd'," starring baritone Theodor Uppman in the title role. Produced by Samuel Chotzinoff, the cast also included Andrew McKinley as Captain Vere, Leon Lishner as Claggart, Robert Holland as Squeak, Kenneth Smith as Dansker and Francis Monachino as Lieutenant Ratcliffe. The production was directed for television by Kirk Browning and conducted by Peter Herman Adler, artistic director of "NBC Opera Theatre." Baritone Uppman will attend a special 50th anniversary screening of "Billy Budd" in New York on Oct. 19 at 3 PM.

"Billy Budd" screening times at both the New York and Los Angeles branches of the Museum of TV & Radio follow: New York:
DuPont Show of the Month: Billy Budd (1959; 90 minutes)
Friday, Oct. 4 to Thursday, Oct. 17
Tuesdays to Fridays at 12:30 PM
Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM
NBC Opera Theatre: Scenes from Billy Budd (1952; 90 minutes)
Friday, Oct. 18 to Thursday, Oct. 31
Tuesdays to Fridays at 12:30 PM
Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM

Los Angeles:
DuPont Show of the Month: Billy Budd (1959; 90 minutes)
Friday, Oct. 4 to Thursday, Oct. 17
Wednesdays to Fridays at 12:30 PM
Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM
NBC Opera Theatre: Scenes from Billy Budd   (1952; 90 minutes)
Friday, Oct. 18 to Thursday, Oct. 31
Wednesdays to Fridays at 12:30 PM
Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM

The Museum of Television and Radio is located at 25 West 52nd Street in New York and 465 North Beverly Drive in Los Angeles. For more information, call (212) 621-6800 in New York or (310) 786-1000 in Los Angeles.

—By Andrew Gans