Broadway legend Rita Bristol and her daughter star in the Broadway musical Always April, produced by her son, not knowing that murder is lurking in the wings.
Vivian Blaine's last role.
Jessica is surprised to hear that her nephew, Grady, has a new girlfriend named Kate. In Murder, She Wrote: The Murder of Sherlock Holmes (1984), he was dating Kitty Donovan ( Jessica Browne ), and before Jessica said goodbye to them she told them not to go off and elope because she wanted to host their wedding in her parlor.
At the beginning of Murder, She Wrote: Broadway Malady (1985), 63 year old Rita Bristol is watching the projected black and white movie that she says is Moon Over Rio. That movie's scene is actually from the technicolor movie Three Little Girls in Blue (1946), and 24 year old Vivian Blaine, wearing a light blue dress, is singing "Somewhere in the Night" (Music by Josef Myrow, Lyrics by Mack Gordon). Although the movie was not released until September 1946, in April 1946 25 year old Betty Jane Rhodes also recorded Somewhere in the Night.
The "Broadway Malady" tele-play occurs in New York City locales, while the (season-1.11th episode) production actually was filmed on the Universal-MCA Studios' San Fernando Valley sound stages' and, UNI-NY City Street-back-lot standing exterior sets, with exterior and interior location filmed in Los Angeles' Wilshire Ebel Women's Club (theater stage and club rooms). On UNI stages the interior police headquarters and offices, the hospital room and corridor interiors, Jessica's hotel room, were utilized, to revamp, on existing standing studio sound stage sets erected on various UNI stages. Because many Universal Studios' Television Productions' network television film crews were churning out enormous filmed television product for the various network television programming divisions, the UNI sound stages had previously filmed existing standing stage-sets available to the art department's designers to utilize in a series' weekly-filming schedule. In preparation for each production, the production designer/art director had to "tag" the stage plot plans in the studios' facility "war room" - which had four walls of posted studio sound stage plot plans, as well as back-lot exterior locations, which were constantly up-dated with floor-plans of standing stage sets, which various TV-film shows had used or were currently being filmed with posted scheduled completion dates. Scheduling both stages and exterior studio buildings, exterior back-lot standing sets, which also had interiors for filming, became a tactical programming night-mare for every film show shooting on the studio lot for each production's unit manager, assistant director, location manager, and art department staff (production designer, set decorator and construction foreman). The production's filming (acting/performance) talent schedule also became an important factor when scheduling guest talent daily/weekly appearances for each program. During this period of network film programming production, each television series had alternating design staffs, which allowed one production to be currently filming, and the second alternating team to prepare and scout alternate interior and exterior locations that may be utilized in the productions' filming schedule. Moving the production's filming crew off the lot allowed time to "turn around" an existing studio sound stage's standing set to fulfill the daily shooting-script requirement.
The Broadway play-house interiors and stage were all filmed on a Los Angeles location, at the Wilshire Ebell Women's Theatre Club. Several restaurant table interiors were also located in the building's auxiliary club-room facilities.
The climax of Murder, She Wrote: Broadway Malady (1985) was to include a featured musical production number with guest star Vivian Blaine surrounded by a chorus of male and female dancers. Hollywood's famed choreographer Miriam Nelson rehearsed the dancers with a cascade of balloon shafts as part of the choreographed finale. The filmed sequence, because of timing, ended on the editing room floor. Instead, Grady, Jessica's nephew, is on a telephone in the theater's stage right wings, on the telephone with his Aunt Jessica Fletcher, who is sitting in her Cabot Cove, Maine, kitchen. In the ending scene clip, over Grady's left shoulder standing in the right side wings, a glimpse of the stage musical's finale is viewed as dancers depart opposite stage left with the shafts of balloons, concluding the epic (edited-cut-out) finale.
Victim: Manny Farkus a.k.a. Morley Farmer
Killer: Barry Bristol
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Motive: To keep him from revealing that Barry hired him to kill Patti Bristol (which he failed to do) as part of a scheme to get his mother's money.
While talking to the Lew Feldman ( Milton Berle ), Jessica makes an off-hand remark, and Lew asks her to repeat it. She replies, "Oh, I was just talking out loud." Clearly she means "I was just thinking out loud."
This episode was released with the other 21 episodes of the first season of Murder, She Wrote in a variety of formats.
|Murder, She Wrote: The Complete First Season||March 29, 2005||Region 1 (North America)|
|Murder, She Wrote: Season 1||August 29, 2005||Region 2 (Europe)|
|Murder, She Wrote: The Complete 1st Season||May 2, 2007||Region 4 (Australasia)|
- Murder, She Wrote: Season One
- New York Police Department
- Broadway Malady at the Internet Movie Database