Broadway Sings the Music of Jule Styne was a musical-variety special for Great Performances on PBS. Robert was chosen personally by Jule Styne to write the script, and enjoyed a collaboration with producers Fritz Holt and Barry Brown until Fritz, who was to direct, became too ill to continue. Legendary theatre director Joe Layton was brought in at the eleventh hour, and the special went on to win a couple of Emmys (for Musical Direction and Arrangements).
Jule Styne himself appeared in the special, along with his frequent collaborators Sammy Cahn, Arthur Laurents, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Robert spent many unforgettable hours interviewing these musical theatre legends who had inspired his own aspirations in the field.
In addition to film clips featuring Barbra Streisand, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Jimmy Durante, many stars appeared live (on tape) in tribute to Jule, including: Carol Channing (“Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”), Chita Rivera (“Every Street’s A Boulevard in Old New York”), Patti Austin (“Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry”), Melissa Manchester (“The Music That Makes Me Dance”), Donna McKechnie and Ann Reinking (“Let Me Entertain You”), Linda Lavin (“Some People”), Maurice Hines (“All I Need Is The Girl”), Phyllis Newman (“A Perfect Relationship”), Hal Linden (“Long Before I Knew You”), and Vic Damone and Diahann Carroll (“Time After Time”). If you look closely, Robert can be seen applauding with the audience at the St. James Theatre.