"That Was the Season That Was." That could be the title of a new, syndicated, one-hour television special designed to examine and promote the 1997-98 Broadway season. Actually titled "Live Broadway, U.S.A.," the show take its title for the official logo of one of its sponsor, the League of American Theatres and Producers. Its other creator is the PHoenix [sic] Communications Group, a New Jersey production company which has heretofore concentrated on sports programming. As reported in The New York Times, the program is set to air across the country from May 20 to June 7. It's hosted by Faith Daniels, a former correspondent for "CBS Morning News" and "48 Hours." The Sound of Music's Rebecca Luker will conduct a backstage tour of the Martin Beck Theatre; Jasmine Guy, the current star of the touring production of Chicago will speak from Sacramento; Victor Garber of Art will converse about acting; and there will be displays of swordplay from The Scarlet Pimpernel and dancing from Forever Tango.
For the league, a New York-based trade organization of producers and theatres owners, the infomercial-like program is the latest step in broadening the national appeal and profile of Broadway theatre. In recent years, the group has adopted a logo, by which Broadway products can be identified, and lured official Broadway corporate sponsors such as Continental Airlines and Schweppes.
-- By Robert Simonson