Every Saturday and Sunday this long summer, a flatbed truck has been stopping in a schoolyard or on a corner in one of New York’s 18 ghetto areas, the wraps taken off its gold-lettered sign, “Broadway in the Streets” . . . and the free show begins.
Organized and directed by Peg Murray, zestful singer-actress of “Cabaret,” different troupes of Broadway players and other show biz performers put on musical variety shows that are wildly cheered by the weekend audiences, mostly youngsters who’ve never seen live entertainment. The program usually starts with a puppet show, and then may feature a rock ‘n’ roll band, a calypso singer, a comedian, a dog act and sometimes a vignette from a Broadway show put on by cast members.
Among the performers have been Joel Grey, Tony Martin, Elaine Stitch, Sonny Fox, Ed McMahon, the Cowsills, Betsy Palmer, Gene Rayburn, Anthony and the Imperials, Anita Gillette, Allan Sherman, Joe Franklin, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Norm Crosby and the American Shakespeare Festival.
“Broadway in the Streets” is a part of Mayor Lindsay’s Urban Task Force summer project and will continue to put on shows through Sept. 30.