CTVA US Anthology - "Producers' Showcase" (NBC) Season 2 (1955-56)

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 Season 2 (NBC) (1955-56)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by:  Rina Fox
references:
TV Guide / Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive


############# Producers' Showcase ############
############## season 2 1955-56 ##############
############################################## 

NBC Mondays 8:00-9:30 pm Eastern
This time slot shared with the Music Variety series "Caesar's Hour" starring Sid Caesar

 

Ep 2.01 Producers' Showcase ?  : THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH

   11Sep1955 NBC Sunday 7:30-9:30pm Eastern [Syracuse Herald] (Not in the Usual Monday night slot)

adapted by Ellen M. Violett

story by Thornton Wilder (pulitzer prize winning play 1942)

directed by Vincent Donehue

produced by Robert Whitehead

executive producer Fred Coe

Costume designs by Helene Pons

narrative by John Cameron Swayze

starring

George Abbott ....... George Antrobus

Mary Martin ....... Sabina

Helen Hayes ....... Margaret Antrobus

Don Murray ....... Henry

Florence Reed ....... Fortune Teller

Heller Halliday ....... Gladys

Frank Silvera ....... Judge

Jonathan Anderson ....... Professor

Synopsis:

The entire history of the world, with Mankind is represented by the Antrobus family.

Surviving the Creation, the Ice Age, the seven deadly plagues, the Black Death and

every other historical calamity, the unflappable and always fastidiously dressed George

Antrobus and his even-tempered wife , Margaret personify every man and woman who

has weathered the most harrowing of storms "by the skin of their teeth."

*Note: This episode was two hours. This was a rare acting job by Broadway director George Abbott.

Also actress Heller Halliday is the daughter of Mary Martin.

 

Ep 2.02 Producers' Showcase: OUR TOWN

19Sep1955 NBC Mon

written by David Shaw

story by Thornton Wilder

directed by Delbert Mann (nominated for an Emmy)

Associate Director Dominick Dunne

produced by Fred Coe

original music by James Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn

orchestrations and musical direction by Nelson Riddle

choreography by Valerie Bettis

costumes by Robert Campbell

sets by Otis Riggs

vocal direction by Norman Luboff

starring

Paul Newman ....... George Gibbs

Eva Marie Saint ....... Emily Webb

Frank Sinatra ....... Stage Manager

Sylvia Field ....... Mrs. Gibbs

Paul Hartman ....... Mr. Webb

Peg Hillias ....... Mrs. Webb

Ernest Truex ....... Dr. Gibbs

Shelley Fabares ...... Susan

Carol Veazie ....... Mrs Soames

with:

Anthony Sydes, David Saber

Charlotte Knight, Harvey B. Dunn

Synopsis 1:

The story depicts life in a rural New Hampshire village, with its humor and pathos;

stars Frank Sinatra as the Stage Manager, and Eva Marie Saint and Paul Newman as

the young lovers, Ernest Truex and Sylvia Field as his parents and Paul Hartman and

Peg Hillias as her parents, supported by Shelley Fabares, Tony Sydes, David Saber,

Carol Veazie, Charlotte Knight, and Harvey B. Dunne; songs written especially for this

television production included both "The Impatient Years" and "Love and Marriage;" this

is believed to be the only entertainment program in which Paul Newman sings

(in this case, a duet with Eva Marie Saint).

Synopsis 2:

Sinclair Lewis familiarized a generation of Americans with a satiric view of the American small

town. Wilder's play reverses the trend and takes a loving look at the inhabitants of the typical

town of Grover's Corners. The plot is pegged on the lives of a boy and a girl in the town and

follows them through romance, marriage and death.

Act 1: It's May 1901. The act opens at dawn on a street in Grover's Corners. We meet the

Gibbs' and Webbs' family homes and the office of the Grover's Corners Sentinel.

Songs: "Our Town" "Grover's Corners" "The Impatient Years".

Act 2: Now it's July 1904. Again we enter the Gibbs' and Webbs' homes, then travel

to an area near the school, the drugstore soda fountain and the church.

Songs: "Love and Marriage" "A Perfect Married Life" "The Impatient Years" (reprise) "Wasn't It A Wonderful Wedding?"

Act 3: Nine years have passed. It's summer 1913. The scene is the cemetary. Flashbacks take us

back to 1899. We return to the town in 1913 for the finale.

Song: "Look to Your Heart".

* Note: Musical version of Thornton Wilder's 1938 stage play (the most performed American stage play).

**Eva Marie Saint was nominated for an Emmy lost to Mary Martin in Peter Pan.

 

[--] Producers' Showcase: The Petrified Forest

30Sep1955 NBC Mon (rebroadcast from 30May55)

 

Ep 2.03 Producers' Showcase: CYRANO DE BERGERAC

17Oct1955 NBC Mon

Produced & staged by José Ferrer
Directed by Kirk Browning
Written by Joseph Schrank
Adaptation of Brian Hooker

Adaptated story of the Edmond Rostand classic
Production supervised by Donald Davis and Dorothy Matthews
Art Director: Richard Day
Costumes by Guy Kent.
starring
José Ferrer ............ Cyrano de Bergerac (nominated for an Emmy)
Claire Bloom ........... Roxanne
Christopher Plummer .... Christian de Neuvillette
Jacques Aubuchon ....... Ragueneau
Paula Laurence ......... Duenna
Edith King ............. Mother Marguerite
Will Kuluva ............ Cutpurse
Patricia Wheel ......... Sister Marthe
Robert Carroll ......... De Guiche
John McQuade ........... Lignieres
William Woodson ........ Le Bret
Sarah Marshall ......... Orange Girl
Dean Cetrulo ........... Valvert
Leopold Badia .......... Montfleury
Leon Charles ........... Carbon Castel-Jaloux
Eric Sinclair (?)
Synopsis 1:
The story of professional soldier with extraordinarily long nose and his unrequited

love for the fair Roxanne who woos her for her suitor, who dies on the battlefield,

after which the stricken Roxanne enters a convent, visited over the years by the

ever-faithful Cyrano until she realizes, too late, that it was his soul that she loved all along. [RF]
Synopsis 2:
In 17th century Paris, Cyrano de Bergerac cut a dashing figure. Both swordsman and poet,

Cyrano was capable of the grand passion. There was but one sizable obstacle

to his complete success - his nose. "'Tis a rock, a crag, a cape!" retorts Cyrano to a

nobleman who has made fun of the nose but lacks Cyrano's wit. The 19th century

 French dramatist Rostand seized on Cyrano's sensitiveness about his nose and

based his poignant romantic comedy on it. Rostand's Cyrano has found the love of his

 life in the fair Roxane. But shall Roxane give her love a creature with a proboscis

like Cyrano's? Not likely, Cyrano, therefore, will do the next best thing. The soldier Christian,

 handsome but empty-headed, shall woo the maiden with Cyrano's romantic verses. [RF]
*Note: José Ferrer repeats for television the role that won him resounding praise

on the Broadway stage and an Oscar in the movies.
 

Ep 2.04 Producers' Showcase: DATELINE II

14Nov1955 NBC Mon

script by Joseph Schrank

playlet script by Donald Bevan

directed by Alan Handley

produced by Donald Davis & Dorothy Mathews

Choreography by Tony Charmoli

set designer Jan Scott

Conductor George Bassman

starring

John Wayne as Himself

Peggy Lee as Herself

Milton Berle as Himself

William Holden as Himself

Greer Garson as Co-Emcee

John Steinbeck as Himself

Robert Frost as Himself

Irving Berlin as Himself

John Raitt as Himself

Janet Blair as Herself

Patricia Benoit as Marguerite Higgins (in playlet)

Darren McGavin as Ed (in playlet)

Jason Robards as Himself

Marguerite Higgins as Herself

Tom Gorman

Bert Freed

Frank Sutton

Robert Dryden

Synopsis:

Marguerite Higgins, international correspondent, is portrayed in a playlet based on an incident in her

career. The scene is a dugout near the front lines in the Korean War. A soldier brings in his

seriously wounded buddy and tries desperately to keep him alive until the medics arrive.

Summary:

Tonight's theme "Freedom of the Press"

A salute to foreign correspondents; presented in cooperation with

Overseas Press Club of America, Inc.

Milton Berle performs a monologue; Peggy Lee sings "You're My Thrill" and

 "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot;" Irving Berlin sings a few bars from "You Gotta Get Up;"

John Raitt sings "Free," written by Berlin especially for this program; Janet Blair sings

"The Funnies" and reads the funnies as a ballet from "Li'l Abner" is performed;

"Dateline Korea" is original playlet by Donald Bevan, honoring Pulitzer

Prize Winning correspondent Marguerite Higgins, with  Janet Blair and Greer Garson sing

"How About You;" John Wayne reminisces about role of Marine Correspondents;

Spanish dance by Antonio, assisted by Carmen Rojas; John Steinbeck "Memorium

 to Robert Capa" read by William Holden; Robert Frost

reads his poem "The land was ours before we were the land's;" Greer Garson pays tribute to

underground newspaper in Cracow Ghetto; entire cast sings "Free" in Finale.

John Steinbeck's contribution is a eulogy of magazine photographer Robert Capa.

Capa was killed last year in Indo-China.

 

Ep 2.05 Producers' Showcase: SLEEPING BEAUTY

14Dec55 NBC Mon

directed by Clark Jones

Score by Tchaikovsky

choreography after Petipa

art direction by Richard Day

music adaptation by Robert Irving

costumes by Oliver Messel

starring

Margot Fonteyn

Michael Soames

Frederick Ashton

Beryl Grey

Pauline Clayden

Rosemary Lindsay

Rowena Jackson

Philip Chatfield

Brian Shaw
*Note: Special introduction written by John Van Druten, acted by David Wayne, by Sadler's Wells Ballet.

**Nominated for an Emmy as Best Single Program of the Year (lost to Peter Pan)

 

[--] Producers' Shocase: Peter Pan

09Jan1956  NBC Mon (Restaged)

starring

Mary Martin as Peter Pan

Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook

 

Ep 2.06 Producers' Showcase: FESTIVAL OF MUSIC

30Jan1956 NBC Mon

directed by Kirk Browning

produced by Sol Hurok

hosted by Charles Laughton

starring

Jussi Björling as Rodolfo in "La Boheme" scene

Isaac Stern as Himself

Renata Tebaldi as Mimi in "La Boheme" scene
Summary:

Musical director George Bassman, orchestra conducted by Max Rudolph of the Metropolitan Opera;

stage concert with 13 of world's top opera singers and musicians, each performing a single number.

The performers included  are:

Bbaritone Leonard Warren ("Prologue" from Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci"),

Tenor Jan Peerce ("Vesti La Giubba" from Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci"),

Violinist Isaac Stern (lst movement of Mendelssohn's "Violin Concerto in E  Minor"),

Soprano Zhinka Milanov ("Vissi d'Arte" from Puccini's "Tosca"),

Coloratura Soprano Roberta Peters ("The Doll Song" from Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffman"),

Cellist Gregor Piatigorsky ("Adagio and Rondo for Cello and Orchestra" by Carl Maria Von Weber),

Contralto Marian Anderson ("Beautiful City," "Poor Me," "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"),

Mezzo-Sopranos Blanche Thebom and Mildred Miller ("Barcarolle" duet from Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffman"),

Mezzo-Soprano Rise Stevens ("Card Song" from Bizet's "Carmen"),

Tenor Jussi Bjoerling ("Che Gelida Manina" from Puccini's "La Boheme")

Soprano Renata Tebaldi ("Mi Chiamano Mimi," from Puccini's "La Boheme"),

Duet by Bjoerling and Tebaldi ("O Soave Fanciulla" from Puccini's "La Boheme"),

Pianist Artur Rubenstein (Chopin's "Polonaise in C# Minor").

Plus a large supporting cast of singers, dancers. [RF]

 

Ep 2.07 Producers' Showcase: CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA

05Mar1956 NBC Mon

written by George Bernard Shaw

adapted by Joseph Schrank

directed by Kirk Browning

starring

Sir Cedric Hardwicke .......... Julius Caesar

Claire Bloom ........... Cleopatra

Jack Hawkins .......... Rufio

Judith Anderson ......... Ftatateeta

Farley Granger ......... Appollodorus

Cyril Ritchard ...... Brittannus

Thomas Gomez ........ Pothinus

Francis Compton ....... Theodotus

Rhoden Streeter ...... Ptolemy

Patrick MacNee ...... Lucius Septimus

Robert Goodier ...... Centurion

Richard Ward ...... Nubian

Loraine Grover ....... Iris

Jo Rabb ....... Charmian

Michael Enserro ....... Major Domo

Murray Vines ....... Priest

Raymond St. Jacques ....... Eygptian Soldier

Synopsis 1:

The story concentrates on the encounter of the girl queen with the great Roman Emperor

Julius Caesar. Now a battle-hardened veteran and experienced ruler in his 50's, Caesar finds

the young Cleopatra ignorant of how to behave and how to rule wisely. He becomes her instructor.

 In the midst of court intrigue she has Caesar's help in strengthening her hand.

Synopsis 2:

Most of us think of Cleopatra as the alluring empress of ancient Egypt, who captivated

the Roman Antony and eventually died by her own hand. This is the picture painted

by Shakespeare in his "Antony and Cleopatra". But some 50 years ago Shaw's ironic

comedy "Caesar and Cleopatra" appeared, treating the beginning instead of the end

of her spectacular career. [RF]

 

Ep 2.08 Producers' Showcase: THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET

02Apr1956 NBC Mon

written by Rudolf Besier

adapted by Guthrie McClintic

directed by Vincent J. Donehue

assistant director Guthrie McClintic

produced by Fred Coe

starring

Katharine Cornell ............ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Henry Daniell .......... Edward Moulton-Barrett

Anthony Quayle ........ Robert Browning

Nancy Coleman ........Henrietta

Margalo Gilmore ........ Arabel

Brenda Forbes ........ Wilson

Lisa Daniels ......... Bella Hedley

Donald Harron ....... Octavius

Geoffrey Lumb ....... Dr. Chambers

Edward Hunt ...... Captain Surtees Cook

William Podmore ....... Dr. Ford-Waterlow
Synopsis:

The story of the relationship of famed Victorian poet Elizabeth Moulton-Barrett, first, with

her possessive father, and then to the vital and vigorous Victorian poet Robert Browning,

beginning with their first meeting at the Barrett home on 50 Wimpole Street on May 20, 1845;

at the time, Elizabeth was a 40-year old bedridden invalid, dominated by her widowed father;

when her doctor recommends a trip to Italy for her health, Browning declares his love for her,

foiling her father's plan to spoil the trip by arranging one of his own by secretly marrying

her and taking her to Italy after all. [RF]

 

 *Note: Teleplay of 1931 Broadway play by Rudolf Besier (which starred Katharine Cornell,

and was staged by her husband Guthrie McClintic), staged and adapted by Guthrie McClintic,

and again starring "The First Lady of the American Theatre" in her television debut,

Katharine Cornell, directed by Vincent J. Donehue.

 

Ep 2.09 Producers' Showcase: DODSWORTH

30Apr1956 NBC Mon

written by David Shaw

story by Sidney Howard

directed by Alex Segal

produced by Alex Segal

starring

Florence Eldridge ......... Fran Dodsworth

Fredric March ........ Sam Dodsworth

Claire Trevor

Celia Lovsky ........ Baroness von Obersdorf

Geraldine Fitzgerald

Regis Toomey

Olive Sturgess

Clyde Lockert
Summary:

Show: based on novel by Sinclair Lewis, adapted as 1934 Broadway play by Sidney Howard,

adapted for television by David Shaw, produced and directed by Alex Segal; story of Midwest

industrialist who lets wife obsessed with youth bully him into retirement and a grand European

tour, eventually seeing through her, her promiscuity, and the pretensions of European society

and leaving for a civilized widow. [RF]

 

Ep 2.10 Producers' Showcase: BLOOMER GIRL

28May1956 NBC Mon

written by Leslie Stevens

story by Sig Herzig & Fred Saidy

directed by Alex Segal

produced by Alex Segal

music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. 'Yip' Harburg

choreographed by Agnes de Mille

starring

Barbara Cook ......... Evalina Applegate

Keith Andes ......... Jefferson Calhoun

Carmen Matthews ......... Dolly Bloomer

Paul Ford .......... Horatio Applegate

Nydia Westman .......... Serena Applegate

Patricia Hammerlee .......... Daisy

Paula Stewart ......... Julia

Roy Spearman .......... Pompey

Elsie Rhodes .......... Octavia

Danny Scholl ......... Ebeneezer

Jack Russell .......... Joshua

Paul McGrath .......... Governor

Heywood Hale Broun ........ Sheriff
Summary:

The story is set shortly before Civil War and centers around Evalina, sixth daughter of a

hoop skirt manufacturer who sides with her Aunt Dolly Bloomer, an avid suffragette,

and falls in love with a handsome slave owner, Jefferson Calhoun. [RF]

Songs:

The songs include "Right as the Rain", "When the Boys Come Home", "Got a Song",

 "Never Was Born", "Evalina", and "The Eagle and Me", a showstopper performed

by the previously enslaved Pompey (Roy Spearman).

*Note: Television version of 1944 hit Broadway musical comedy, based on book by

Sig Herzig and Fred Saidy with spectacular Civil War Ballet. Bloomer Girl was not

filmed in Hollywood, this Producers' Showcase version is the only known visual

record of this popular musical.

 

Ep 2.12 Producers' Showcase: HAPPY BIRTHDAY

25Jun1956 NBC Mon

written by Anita Loos

directed by Alex Segal

produced by Alex Segal

starring

Tina Louise ........ Maude

Betty Field ......... Addie

Barry Nelson ......... Paul

Enid Markey .......... Tot

Harry Bellaver .......... Herman

Harold Vermilyen .......... Father

Luella Gear ......... Emma

Wynn Gibson .......... Gail

William Harrigan .......... Mr. Bemis
Synopsis:

 The story of modest and inhibited Newark librarian who secretly loves handsome young

bank clerk, schemes to meet him in a bar and gets drunk herself but successfully pursues

a campaign to woo him, aided by the bar patrons. [RF]

*Note: adapted from the 1946 Anita Loos Broadway comedy; produced and directed by Alex Segal.

 

Ep 2.13 Producers' Showcase: ROSALINDA

23Jul1956 NBC Mon

written by Sid Kuller

from the Max Reinhardt-Erich Korngold version of "Die Fledermaus".

directed by Bob Banner

produced by Edwin Lester

starring

Cyril Ritchard ........ Gabriel Von Eisenstein

Jean Fenn ........ Rosalinda

Sig Arno

Wiere Brothers

Lois Hunt

Robert Wright

Thomas Hayward

Ralph Dumke
*Note: Edwin Lester Los Angeles-San Francisco Light Opera Association,

music by Johnann Strauss (Fledermaus), book by Gottfried Reinhardt and John Mechan Jr.,

 lyrics by Paul Kerby and Sid Kuller, choreography by Todd Bolender, design by Oliver Smith.

############# Producers' Showcase ############
############### end of season 2 ##############
##############################################

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