Radio Playbill," a weekly news and entertainment magazine show of theatrical interviews, features and music, is being broadcast 12 times weekly on Sirius' A&E Channel, 154.
All the excitement and glamour of the American theatre scene comes across in this, the first radio project from the creators of Broadway's distinctive programs, and Playbill On-Line, the home of theatre on the internet. The program reflects Playbill's unique access and knowledge of the world of Broadway, broadcasting from Sirius' midtown Manhattan studios overlooking Times Square.
Regular features of "Radio Playbill" will be interviews with major Broadway personalities, , headlines from New York and national tours, previews of new cast albums and solo albums by theatre stars, and perspective from Playbill's resident historian, Louis Botto.
The 30-minute weekly show will debut each Tuesday, with airings at 5 AM, 11 AM, 5 PM and 11 PM.
Rebroadcasts of the show will occur each Thursday at 1 AM, 7 AM, 1 PM and 10 PM and Saturday at 5 AM, 11 AM, 5 PM and 11 PM. The first show, broadcast March 26, 28 and 30, features an interview with Annie composer Charles Strouse, who give the first public performance of a song from his upcoming new musical, Marty. Also, in honor of Mamma Mia!, a look back at Broadway's rock musicals.
Upcoming shows include an interview with Sweet Charity composer Cy Coleman also previewing his upcoming projects, plus Into the Woods director/librettist James Lapine, an introduction to Thoroughly Modern Millie composer Jeanine Tesori, and a survey of the career of Sweet Smell of Success writer Marvin Hamlisch.
Host for both the news and the magazine show is Robert Viagas, founding editor of Playbill On-Line and Theatre.com, and author of several books on theatre, including "On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line" and "The Amazing Story of The Fantasticks."
Sirius has been broadcasting Playbill's theatre news headlines throughout the day, seven days a week on its "Broadway's Best," channel 67.
The signal can be heard coast to coast on the Sirius system, currently available mainly in automobiles, and streamed through the company's website at www.siriusradio.com
Sirius began a national rollout of its 100 commercial-free stations Feb. 14 with promotions in four cities, Denver, Houston, Phoenix and Jackson, Miss. More cities are being added weekly until full national coverage is achieved Aug. 1.
Founded in 1884, Playbill established itself as the definitive brand of Broadway theatre programs. The company also brought theatre to the internet in 1994 with the launch of Playbill On-Line.
Sirius receivers and antenna cost approximately $249. Listeners are charged a $12.95 monthly fee, similar to cable television, and receive a wide range of targeted music and talk channels, from country to classical. Sirius has a deal to install receivers in Ford, BMW and DaimlerChrysler cars, though the receivers can be installed in any car.