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. New York's Museum of Television and Film will screen many of these in a series called "Mad About the Boy: Noel Coward on Television," running Sept. 17 through Oct. 21.
The first program to be shown is "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 is "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.
Bacall will appear at the museum on Sept. 21 to introduce "Blithe Spirit."
Other featured programs include "Ford Star Jubilee: This Happy Breed" (1956), "Camera Three: Mad About the Boy -- A Celebration" (1976), and guest shots on "The Dick Cavett Show," "What's My Line?" and "Small World." The series will be run in tandem with a retrospective of Coward's film work at BAM Rose Cinemas in Brooklyn.
The Museum of Television and Radio is located at 25 W. 52nd Street. For more information call (212) 621-6800, or check their web site at http://www.mtr.org.
-- by Robert Simonson