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Great Performances

Great Performances


Great Performances is one of many in a long line of quality series' from PBS. After springing up from humble roots, 2012-2013 marked the show's 40th Anniversary, making it the longest running anthology program featuring the performing arts. From Broadway to Rock n' Roll, Great Performances has successfully provided an opportunity for the American public to enjoy many different forms of music, dance and entertainment for the very first time.

Many sources, including the 25th anniversary publication titled "Great Performances: A Celebration", cite 1972 as the start of Great Performances. Other sources indicate the show officially debuted with Maxim Gorky's "Enemies" on January 23, 1974 - as Theater in America / Great Performances. That 1973-74 season consisted of 11 new productions from Regional Theaters throughout the United states, plus repetitions of 8 plays produced by WNET in recent years. Some of these latter 8, like "The Rimers of Eldritch" and "Hogan's Goat", had previously aired on PBS under a different banner, such as NET Playhouse and Playhouse New York, (which debuted in 1972). Theater in America began in 1973, and officially became part of Great Performances the following year. All of this early innovation by Jac Venza and others appears to have contributed to the differing debut dates. Later, the Great Performances umbrella would also branch out to include Dance in America and Music in America. Additionally, the Great Performances umbrella also included Live From Lincoln Center from it's debut in 1976 until the summer of 1988. Live From Lincoln Center has it's own TVRage Listing and has not been included here.

For the purposes of this guide, we will adopt the position of the "Great Performances: A Celebration" publication, and thereby credit the show's debut as 1972. Additionally, it will be noted throughout this guide whenever a production was aired under the Great Performances umbrella, but with a different banner like Theater in America, Dance in America or Music in America.
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Recurring Guests

Eric Clapton (2 eps)
Julie Andrews (2 eps)
Ian Richardson as Bishop of Motopo (2 eps)
Garrison Keillor (2 eps)
Alec Guinness as Father Quixote (2 eps)

View All Recurring Guests

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