SELECTED FILM STILLS
Leonard Soloway is an American original and a Broadway legend. In a career that has spanned more than 70 years, Soloway has helped bring to the stage nearly 150 productions that have collected more than 40 Tony Awards, 21 Drama Desk Awards and two Pulitzer Prizes. And at age 90, Leonard is not done, still working to put together yet another show.
Now this extraordinary story is told in Leonard Soloway’s Broadway, a feature-length documentary that goes behind the scenes to show how a master producer brings shows to life, coaxing creativity out of chaos. The movie tells the story of Leonard, at age 87, energetically working to produce Tappin Thru Life, a musical memoir starring veteran dancer and actor Maurice Hines. The movie shows just exactly what a producer does to get a show ready for its New York premiere, and the backstage drama what it takes to keep it alive once it gets there. Interspersed with scenes from the show and backstage are interviews with Broadway luminaries who have worked with Leonard over the years, including John Slattery, Olympia Dukakis, Elizabeth Ashley and others.
Narrated by Campbell Scott, the film is a delightful ride through Broadway’s golden age, illuminated by Leonard’s dry wit and including never-before-heard stories of Marlene Dietrich, Carol Channing, Jason Robards, Lauren Bacall, Bernadette Peters, Elaine Stritch and many other stars of the stage and screen. Leonard also tells stories of his personal journey as a proudly out gay man in an era when a “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality was the rule, even in many theatrical circles.
Runner-up for the best documentary audience award at the 2019 Outshine Film Festival, Leonard Soloway’s Broadway also played two sold-out shows at the Cleveland International Film Festival. As The Cleveland Plain Dealer put it: “Soloway, a hit-maker with an eye for true quality, is as entertaining as any of the stars he cared for, coddled or put on stage.