NEW YORK - It’s a long way from New York’s sweltering ghetto streets to Broadway’s bright, gaudy theater district.
But these dissimilar scenes are the backdrop for the schizophrenic world of Peg Murray, who stars in the hit musical “Cabaret” at night and devotes her days to bringing entertainment to the poverty areas of the city.
The only reward the vivacious beauty receives for taking shows into the ghettos is the satisfaction of seeing tears on the cheeks of a little girl who doesn’t want her to leave at the end of the show. Or a kid in baggy blue jeans with an ecstatic grin as he gets a hug ad a song from one of the stars or lesser known entertainers who donate their time to put on the shows every Saturday and Sunday.
“They’re just beautiful,” Miss Murray said. “The smallest crowd we ever played to was more than 500, and over 2,000 have come to watch. It’s a lot more satisfying than acting on Broadway, and I enjoy this so much that I’d like to keep doing it every year.”
The stars who have appeared in “Broadway in the Streets,” which is the name of the touring show, would make an impressive array for any Hollywood spectacular.
Peg lines up the talent with a special telephone she had installed in her Greenwich Village apartment, and she has come up with such big names as Joel Grey, Moms Mabley, the Cowsills, Judy Collins and Ed McMahon, to mention a few.
“Originally I was asked to make a few phone calls to get some people for a show to tour the ghettos,” said Peg, who won a Tony – Broadway’s Oscar – for her performance in “Cabaret.”
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