Laurence Maslon

Host of Broadway to Main Street

Laurence Maslon is an arts professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, as well as associate chair of the Graduate Acting Program, with an affiliation in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.  He is the host and producer of the weekly radio series, Broadway to Main Street, broadcast on the NPR-affiliate station WPPB-FM. He edited the two-volume set American Musicals (1927-1969) containing sixteen classic Broadway librettos, published by the Library of America in 2014 to national acclaim. He is also the author of the companion book to the recent PBS documentary series, Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle and cowrote the series with producer/director Michael Kantor. Also with Kantor, he cowrote the PBS series Make ‘Em Laugh (Emmy nomination) and two episodes of the Emmy-winning Broadway: The American Musical as well as the companion volume (updated edition published by Applause in paperback) and the liner notes for the five-disc box set for the series, released by Sony/Decca. Among his other books are Some Like It Hot: The Official 50th Anniversary Companion (HarperCollins) and The South Pacific Companion and The Sound of Music Companion (Simon and Schuster; revised edition, 2015). Maslon wrote the acclaimed American Masters/Thirteen documentary Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds and is the editor of Kaufman & Co., the Library of America edition of George S. Kaufman’s plays.  He has been the host for Encores!-in-Seminar at City Center for thirteen years and has written special programming for Lincoln Center Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Chicago Humanities Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, the Library of Congress, and Guild Hall in East Hampton.  He served on the nominating committee for the Tony Awards from 2007 to 2010.   He is currently writing an American Masters documentary about the life of Sammy Davis, Jr. and a book for Oxford University Press about Broadway and popular music.


Jazz has always been a part of the Broadway sound, and some shows have made it the dramatic center of attention.  So, join us at the B2MS Blue Note for performances fronted by Gregory Hines, Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews, Bing Crosby, and Ella Fitzgerald backed up by Benny Goodman, Duke Elllington, Johnny Mercer, and Louis Armstrong and his All Stars.  Now--that's jazz, this Sunday at 3PM!


The greatest lyricist of all time?  Methinks it could be the playwright whose birthday we celebrate this week: William Shakespeare, the Bard of Stratford-on-Avon. On this week's episode, we listen to some original music (I mean, really original Elizabethan music) as well as musicals inspired by Shakespeare: THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, KISS ME, KATE, WEST SIDE STORY.  Forsooth!  Odd's bodkins!  This Sunday at 3pm.


One of the most enduring and successful songwriting teams in Broadway history return for an extraordinary season, which features Cabaret, The Visit, and Zorba (at Encores!).  Maybe this time, we'll savor the gifts of Kander and Ebb, featuring selections from their major scores, performed by artists such Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Lauren Bacall, Herschel Bernardi, Robert Goulet--and Kander and Ebb themselves!  This Sunday at 3PM.


"The prince of wheels" makes its sonic journey from Chi to NY to Broadway to Main Street:  all aboard!  This much-beloved (by me) masterpiece by Cy Coleman and Comden and Green gets the luxury treatment, in order to celebrate its current acclaimed revival at the Roundabout.  The original cast album with Madeline Kahn and John Cullum gets an earlful, along with cameos by Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Gallagher, and John Barrymore.  Departing this Sunday at 3:00 sharp!


Here are the Broadway musicals you'd kill for:  Sweeney Todd, Baker Street, A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder and many others.  Poisoners, femme fatales, master criminals, wronged women--all with a song in their corrupt hearts.  Join our Rogue's Gallery, which includes Louis Armstrong, Faith Prince, Ethel Waters, Lotte Lenya and other performers on "Broadway to Main Street."  This Sunday at 3PM.