New York Public Library shares the world’s vast archive of theater recordings in new exhibit

The world’s largest collection of live theater recordings turns 50 this year. The New York Public Library, owner of the collection, is celebrating by opening its doors to the public with a curated exhibit, featuring taped interviews with theater and actors and directors ranging from a candid interview with 20-something Liza Minnelli , to the original production of Location.

The exhibition is called “Deer Focus Centere” and runs through February at the Public Library Library for the Permanent Arts at Lincoln Center. Here Now‘s Robin Young chats with the curator Patrick Hoffman on the exhibition.

Composer Stephen Sondheim with actors Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin during a rehearsal for the Broadway production of ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ in 1984. (Martha Swope/Billy Rose Theater Division)
Costume designer Patricia Zipprodt with director and choreographer Bob Fosse during rehearsal discussing costume sketches for the musical
Costume designer Patricia Zipprodt with director and choreographer Bob Fosse during a rehearsal discussing costume sketches for the Broadway musical ‘Big Deal’ in 1986. (Martha Swope/Billy Rose Theater Division)
Baayork Lee in the original production of
Baayork Lee in the original production of “A Chorus Line” in 1975. (Martha Swope/Billy Rose Theater Division)
Director and choreographer Michael Bennett with actors Jennifer Holliday and Sheryl Lee Ralph during rehearsals for the Broadway musical
Director and choreographer Michael Bennett with actors Jennifer Holliday and Sheryl Lee Ralph at the 1981 Broadway musical ‘Dreamgirls’ rehearsal. (Martha Swope/Billy Rose Theater Division)
Playwright Wendy Wasserstein in 1992. (Martha Swope/Billy Rose Theater Division)
Playwright Wendy Wasserstein in 1992. (Martha Swope/Billy Rose Theater Division)
Director and choreographer Tommy Tune on the set of the musical
Director and choreographer Tommy Tune on the set of the Broadway musical ‘Nine’ in 1982. (Martha Swope/Billy Rose Theater Division)

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