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Michelle Lee and John Raitt

Broadway in Hollywood

Broadway came to Hollywood for one night with the recent premiere of the film, Broadway, The Golden Age, a magnificent movie that celebrates the heyday of Broadway. Written, directed, and produced by Rick McKay, this film brings an era back to life in its stunning glory. The star-studded premiere brought out such legends as Angela Lansbury (Mame, Gypsy, and TV's Murder She Wrote), Bea Arthur (Mame and, of course, TV's Maude), hoofer, songstress and TV actress Michelle Lee, the adorable Robert Morse, actress Ruta Lee, movie buff Leonard Maltin, director Arthur Hiller, magnificent crooner and father of singer Bonnie Raitt, John Raitt, esteemed actress Eva Marie Saint, singer and now animal rights activist Gretchen Wyler, singer and actress Nanette Fabray, dancer and singers Janis Paige and Fayard Nicholas, plus actors Naomi Watts and Tom Hulce.

The film has won over 13 best film, documentary, and audience awards at film festivals all over the country. Rick spent six years filming all over the world, interviewing over 100 legends for their insightful, funny, and often moving stories. Rick also tracked down lost footage of legendary performances from live Broadway shows that have never been seen along with home movies from personal collections that all together pay homage to a distinctive period of American culture that is only now beginning to be appreciated and long overdue. Amongst those captured on film are Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince, Frank Langella, Shirley Maclaine, Elizabeth Ashley, Jerry Orbach, Carol Channing, Chita Rivera, Maureen Stapleton, and contemporary actor Alec Baldwin. He also pays homage to many people that have passed away, including actresses Uta Hagen and Kim Hunter, dancers Bob Fosse, and Gwen Verdon.

Suffice to say, this film will touch the chords of varied audiences because the older generation will wax poetic on their memories, while the younger generation will be inspired by the stories they are being told. Rick's pal Naomi Watts told POWER, "I am completely inspired by this film, it totally blew me away." Michelle Lee told us, "I still can't believe the effect that we had on American culture. That's power for you." Angela Lansbury told us that, "This film celebrates the days when one was full of energy and get up and go-it was fun and exciting. I could run and jump then." Eva Marie Saint lamented, "Theater is so expensive for young people to see. We have to change that because only by getting the young in to see theater can they have power."

Entertainment Tonight's film critic Leonard Maltin told POWER, "This film is priceless, all ages should see it. The stories and the history of Broadway are a part of culture that is distinctly American. It truly is one of the most powerful films I've seen in years." And, Rick McKay summed it up, "This is the story of one hundred 18-25 year olds that changed the world. They influenced Hollywood, music, books, everything. They fought the fight and they all triumphed. That's as powerful as you can get."

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