CTVA US Music Variety - "Washington Square" (NBC)(1956-57)

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Washington Square (1956-57)
 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 / Writers Guild of America (wga)

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WASHINGTON SQUARE
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NBC
Writers Al Schwartz, Buddy Arnold and Mac Benoff

US Variety series 1956-57 17 episodes x 60min (21-Oct-1956 to 16-Jun-1957)(Fortnightly)

starring Ray Bolger
Regulars Jo Wilder, Elaine Stritch, Rusty Draper.

Premise: Ray Bolger sang, danced and did comedy on a studio set made to resemble a Greenwich Village neighborhood.



############## Washington Square #############
############### season 1956-57 ###############
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NBC Sundays 4-5pm
(Airing Alternately with season 2 of the documentary series "Wide Wide World")

[01] Washington Square
21Oct1956 NBC Sun [Premiere] NYT
Host Ray Bolger
with Elaine Stritch, Rusty Draper, Bil Baird and Cora Baird
Mata and Hari and The Three Flames
Guests
Bert Lahr
Richard Derr
and Jo Wilder
*Note: Arnold Stang voiced Bil Baird's puppet Aristotle the Turtle.

[02] Washington Square
04Nov1956 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with
Sammy Davis Jr.
and the Will Mastin Trio
and 7-year-old singer Patti Austin.
Highlights: Patti sings "Mr. Wonderful".

[03] Washington Square
18Nov1956 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Martha Raye
and Arnold Stang.
Highlights:
Martha is determined to discard the old Martha Raye and become instead a legitimate actress,
to the disgust of Elaine Stritch, as proprietress of the Village Inn.
Martha does a rather unusual performance of "War and Peace" in company with Ray and Elaine.
Bolger and Martha also form, a dance team known as Raye and Ray.

[04] Washington Square
02Dec1956 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Charles Laughton
Stanley Holloway
and Arnold Stang.
regulars
Elaine Stritch, Rusty Draper, Kay Armen, Arnold Stang, Bil and Cora Baird and the Martins.
Highlights:
Charles Laughton performs several of his concert hall reading of selections including Thomas Wolfe's "The Trains".

[05] Washington Square
16Dec1956 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Stubby Kaye
Vincent Price
and Richard Torigi.

[06] Washington Square
13Jan1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Milton Berle
and Polly Bergen.

[07] Washington Square
27Jan1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Gertrude Berg
Stubby Kaye
Lionel Hampton
and Richard Torigi.

[08] Washington Square
10Feb1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Martha Raye
and Stubby Kaye.

[09] Washington Square
24Feb1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Ann Sothern
and Stubby Kaye.
Highlights:
Ann sings "Walkin' the Beat".
Ray and Ann duet with "Stepping Out With My Baby"
Ann and the whole company do "Shake, Rattle and Roll".
Kay Armen as Mama Rosa sings "Try a Little Tenderness".
Stubby Kaye and Sheila Smith duet on "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off".

[10] Washington Square
10Mar1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Peggy King
Jim Backus of TV's "I Married Joan"
and Enid Mosier and her Calypso Band.
Highlights:
All join in for "Big, Wide, Wonderful World".
Ray and Peggy duet on "Sing Something Simple".
Peggy sings "Make a Wish"
Ray and Jim perform "Sad Sack"
There will also be lighting effects by John Hoppe, to illustrate Ray's story of Henry the Ticklish Harp.
Stubby Kaye is also on hand.

[11] Washington Square
24Mar1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Patti Page
Gertrude Berg
and Jim Backus.

[12] Washington Square
07Apr1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
The Andrews Sisters
Salvatore Baccaloni
Stubby Kaye
and Kay Armen.

[13] Washington Square
21Apr1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Patrice Munsel
Sammy Davis Jr.
and the Will Mastin Trio.
Highlights:
Ray with the whole gang perform Irving Berlin's "Happy Easter".
Ray and Patrice duet with "Make a Miracle".
Ray sings "If I Only Had a Brain".
Kay Armen sings Schubert's "Ave Maria".
Patrice Munsel sings "I've Gotta Crow".
Stubby Kaye does "Standing on the Corner".

[14] Washington Square
05May1957
Host Ray Bolger
regulars Kay Armen and Muriel Landers
with guests
George Gobel
Jeannie Carson
and Bill Haley and the Comets.

[15] Washington Square
19May1957
Host Ray Bolger
regulars Kay Armen and Muriel Landers
with guests
Vera Ellen
Jose Greco
Richard Haydn
and The Charivels.

[16] Washington Square
02Jun1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Sophie Tucker
Vivian Blaine
and George Jessel.

[17] Washington Square [Final show of the series].
16Jun1957 NBC Sun
Host Ray Bolger
with guests
Benny Goodman
Gisele MacKenzie
Eddie Bracken
Muriel Landers
and Martha Carson.

############## Washington Square #############
##################### Info ###################
##############################################

Info from "Short - Lived Television Series, 1948-1978: Thirty Years of More Than 1,000 Flops". by Wesley Hyatt

Ray Bolger starred in "Washington Square" as an agent looking for talent in New York City in this musical revue with a light plot.
The format allowed him, the regulars and a guest or two to break into song as he visited them.
For example, at the Greenwich Village Inn, Bolger met Broadway belter Elaine Stritch, the hotel's operator;
country crooner Rusty Draper; R&B act The Three Flames; and the dance duo of (Ruth) Mata and (Eugene) Hari.
It was not all music, however; at the Washington Square Playhouse, actress Jo Wilder did a dramatic scene between acts.
"It was a very expensive show to do, time consuming, but I really enjoyed doing the show," said director Greg Garrison. "We had a great cast".
Beside those already mentioned, opera star Daniza Illitsch played aspiring opera star Mama Rosa,
a widow with six kids (pop singer Kay Armen replaced her after two shows.)
There were also puppets courtesy of Bil and Cora Baird, with one involving a turtle using the voice of Arnold Stang.
Garrison added that "The guy who wrote the music was Jerry Herman, who later wroter "Hello, Dolly!"
The only detriment Garrison recalled about the show involved Ray Bolger's wife Gwen, who was also his manager.
"She wanted to change the name to "The Ray Bolger Show" after a couple of weeks on the air," he said.

(Note: Bolger had a sitcom on ABC from 1953 to 1955 titled The Ray Bolger Show in its second season.)
When he learned about her suggestion, producer William Bacher said he wanted to keep the "Washington Square" title
even though only New Yorkers probably knew it referred to an area in Greenwich Village.
Also, accepting Gwen's idea could lead to other problems in Bacher's mind in terms of demands from her, such as raising her
husband's salary in honor of getting a show named after him.
"In which case, if it's called "The Ray Bolger Show" we don't have any leverage against them, do we?" Bacher asked Garrison rhetorically.
Garrison blamed the show's failure on its scheduling. The program showed up every other week, alternating with Wide Wide World.
"NBC didn't know what to make of the show, so they put it on opposite football," he said. "Can you imagine a musical comedy at this time slot?"
The network did give it four night-time shots as specials in 1957 after it left Sunday afternoons,
but Garrison speculated NBC was just being charitable rather than considering it for an evening run:
"They probably had an opening or two".
NBC replace "Washington Square" with an arguably even more elaborate series, the high-class cultural offering, "Omnibus",
which had aired on CBS and ABC at various times since November 8, 1952.
It ran in the "Washington Square" timeslot through May 10, 1959, alternating with Wide Wide World in 1957-58 and Kaleidoscope in 1958-59.

############## Washington Square #############
################### the end ##################
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