The 90-minute program is scheduled to air Jan. 1 at 9:30 PM ET on PBS stations around the country; check local listings. It airs in the New York metropolitan area at 10 PM on WNET Channel 13.
"Words and Music by Jerry Herman" chronicles "Herman's rapid rise from witty, topical Off-Broadway revues during the 1950s, to his first Broadway hits in the 1960s (Milk and Honey, followed quickly by the record-breaking Dolly and then Mame) through the less successful shows from the 1970s (Dear World, Mack & Mabel and The Grand Tour) to his triumphant return in 1983 with La Cage aux Folles, which made social and political history," according to press notes.
The documentary by award-winning filmmaker Amber Edwards features interviews with Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, Charles Nelson Reilly, Marge Champion, Arthur Laurents, Charles Strouse, Fred Ebb, George Hearn, Phyllis Newman, Michael Feinstein, Donald Pippin, Leslie Uggams Jason Graae, Francine Pascal, Miles Kreuger, Ken Bloom and Herman himself. DVD watchers can expect to see "behind-the-scenes rehearsal sessions, rare photographs, and never-before-seen archival footage of original Broadway performances."
PBS Home Video also releases "Words and Music by Jerry Herman" Jan. 1. The DVD includes these bonus features: the complete "Hello Dolly!" number performed by Carol Channing and the original cast of Hello, Dolly!; "Put On Your Dancing Shoes" from Jerry Herman's 1955 college musical; and "Before the Parade Passes By" with Jerry Herman and Ethel Merman. The 90-minute DVD has a suggested retail price of $24.99. To order call (800) PLAY-PBS or visit shoppbs.org.
One of the theatre's most celebrated composers, Jerry Herman has written the scores for such Broadway musicals as Milk and Honey; Hello, Dolly!; Mame; Dear World; Mack & Mabel; The Grand Tour and La Cage aux Folles. He also contributed songs to A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, and revues of his work include Jerry's Girls and An Evening with Jerry Herman. The songwriter won Tony Awards for his scores for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles.