Program Details

"Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy": Behind the Scenes

Barbara Brilliant
Jewish Culture & History
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Peabody Award Winner Barbara Brilliant discusses the making of her award-winning documentary, "Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy," with film clips and fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes, Brilliant will describe the making of this extraordinary documentary that explores the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in creating the modern American musical. Narrated by Joel Grey, the film showcases Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Mel Brooks, and Stephen Sondheim, among many others. This uplifting program, featuring Brilliant in conversation with program librarian, Barbara Wenglin, is sure to please!

About the Instructor

  • Barbara Brilliant, recipient of a Peabody Award for Broadway Musicals: A “Jewish Legacy,” was both Creator and Executive Producer. The film airs on PBS. She has also won numerous other awards for her television programs “Prime Time Conversation with the Conductor,” “For Kids Only,” and other television programs which she hosted and/or produced. She has also won an award for her album “Brilliant, Better Late Than Never.” She has been Artistic Director of Basically Broadway North and Basically Broadway South (at OLLI Boca). At the NBC affiliate in Boston, she interviewed Carol Channing, John Raitt, Tommy Tune, Eartha Kitt, Robert Goulet, and many others. She has studied at McGill Conservatory of Music and graduated summa cum laude from Boston College. Presently she is working with her daughter Michelle and Billy Porter on another documentary, “Broadway Pride,” detailing the LGBTQ + contributions to the Broadway musical.

    Barbara Wenglin is a librarian at the White Plains Public Library, just north of New York City, where she works as a reference librarian and a program and cultural arts coordinator. She has led the Library’s longest-running book discussion series for more than 35 years with a current focus on the short-story genre and related films. She was selected by the “New York Times” as a librarian of the year for outstanding service to the people of her community. A graduate of Skidmore College with highest honors, Barbara was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to study French language and literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. She received a Master’s Degree in Library Science at the University of Arizona where she was elected to Beta Phi Mu, the Library and Information Studies Honor Society.