About Us

In December, 1991, Michael Riedel, the audacious and outspoken young Managing Editor of TheaterWeek Magazine met Susan Haskins, a casting director and Art Director of the La MaMa Theater, on an episode of the ground-breaking public access series The Stephen Holt Show. The two hit it off and soon hatched a plan (with the help and support of actor/director Steve Ahern) to create their own public access series which they conceived as a McLaughlin Group/Meet the Press of theater.

They taped their first episode in the summer of 1992. The guests were critic John Simon and producer Elizabeth McCann. Haskins & Riedel submitted this show, then called Inside Broadway, to the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and it premiered on public access channel 69, January 4, 1993.

For the first couple of seasons the shows guests were Michael’s contacts from TheaterWeek (and then The Daily News where Riedel subsequently got a job as a stringer for the paper’s gossip columnist), as well as Susan’s from her years in the downtown theater world. Inside Broadway slowly developed a following and the range of guests expanded.

In the summer of 1996, when MNN planned to move Inside Broadway to 2 AM, Haskins pitched the show to PBS station Thirteen, who gave it a 13 week trial, beginning November 7, 1996. Changing the name to Theater Talk, they premiered with an episode featuring Kander & Ebb plus Martin Gottfried, and the weekly series has been on the station ever since with Riedel and Haskins as co-hosts and Haskins as Executive Producer.

In 1998, H&R started taping the show in the studio of television station of the City University of New York, CUNY TV. (At about this time, Riedel also landed a job as the theater columnist at the New York Post). The relationship with the stationproved to be a successful one and CUNY TV now co-produces the series along with the not-for-profit corporation, Theater Talk Productions. Since 2008, CUNY TV (under the supervision of the station’s Executive Producer, Bob Isaacson) has also assisted in the satellite syndication of the show by Executive Program Service, and Theater Talk is available on public TV markets, throughout the USA.

 

Press

Backstage: ‘Theater Talk’ Celebrates Broadway’s Best for Two Decades

TVWW: DOUBLE ‘TALK’: A PAIR OF DIAMONDS MAKES A STRONG HAND

62 Responses to “About Us”

  • hazelroslyn

    I LOVE your show. It’s fun, informative, and intelligent. The most
    important thing on my mind is the price of a theater ticket. I am a
    member of TDF and I had such high hopes of seeing everything at a
    bargain. Not so, the offerings do not include everything, the fees are
    usually over $40.00.

  • Anonymous

    My fave TT shows are with the panel of critics. I’ve been a devoted
    fan for almost 10 years.Thx!

  • Anonymous

    Michael, I’m really glad you didn’t jump on the “pretentious
    bandwagon” with ONCE this year.

  • wesbard

    Our PBS station only recently began showing THEATER TALK.
    I enjoy all the guests who have appeared, but I wish Mr. SMASH would
    listen more; it’s not about HIM.

  • Anonymous

    Love your show! Really enjoyed the recent ones on One Man Two Guvnors
    and Newsies. Peter and the Starcatcher too. Great job!

  • carolhampton

    Your show is a vital part of the theatrical community–I couldn’t do
    without it!

  • pwils16

    Theater Talk is one of my favorite programs, I only wish that it was
    an hour long and that it was “live” for a call in portion. How about
    having an audience? That would be fantastic!

  • cbs243

    Bring Stritch back every year! And John Simon.

  • rbarri2002

    I have loved your show for years, never miss it and especially enjoy
    the roundtable discussions with the various critics. I was thrilled to
    meet and speak to Susan after a performance of a play several years
    ago. I look forward to many more of your
    broadcasts.

  • Anonymous

    Keep up the great work! Theater Talk continues to be great – some of
    the best theater interviews around. Though I know the show is
    Broadway/industry centric, would be great if you could interview some
    of the great directors/theater artists who don’t usually work in the
    commercial theater Anne Bogart, Lee Bruer, Liz LaCompte, someone
    international.

  • md130

    Love Theater Talk. Especially the “predictions ” shows with Michael
    Miusto, Patrick Pacheco, and Jesse Green. Always love Elaine Stritch.
    Love it when she comes on with her hair in cutlers. Who does
    that?

  • barryle2

    Yeah! Michael should not have announced that there are “plants” in the
    audience for “One Man, Two Guvnors.” Luckily, I saw the play first.
    Aside from that…I love everybody! Enjoy the Tonys.

  • lyndah49

    It might be interesting to interview a head carpenter, a stage manager
    and or a dresser to get their back stage imput on how a show runs
    behind the scenes

  • lucyhaskell

    I LOVE THEATER TALK AND SINCE I CAN’T ATTEND ALL THE SHOWS I WANT YOU
    TAKE ME THERE WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR GUESTS ON AND YOU DISCUSS THE SHOW. I
    ALSO LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT THE THEATER AND HOW IT WORKS FROM YOUR
    GUESTS. AND MICHAEL;LOVED YOU IN SMASH!!!! KEEP UP THE GREAT
    WORK!

  • buttonbuddha2

    If I had any comments anywhere near as incisive & witty as those I
    regularly hear on your show, I’d comment… great job,
    guys!

  • jschnippe

    WHY ARE USHERS IN THEATERS CRANKY, CROTCHITY, AND
    MISERABLE???????

  • anngrandt

    love your show. this was actually a good theater year.

  • snow_god

    Love the show, always entertaining and enlightening and Michael never
    fails to enrage me!

  • thomasray123

    Love your show. Keep it up. How about some tips on how to get cheaper
    tickets? You all did a show during the height of the great recession
    about the state of the business “the end of big wall street money
    buying expenseive seats.” Where are we now? Cover the off broadway
    awards too.

  • colin.schmit

    Susan, please take Michael to task on that whole George C. Scott
    mess.

  • slainte7

    LOVE your show, don’t get to the theatre as much as I’d like and most
    of these votes are based on who I think will win the Tonys. (I always
    did well in the office pool.)

  • philipmysparrow

    The Tony Awards show was GREAT!!!

  • anndgross

    Bravissimi everyone! Dedicating my love this season to my adored
    friend, Howard Kissel, z”l,a great friend of the theater and of
    THEATER TALK. Thank you for airing “A Walk THrough the Player’s Club”
    with Howard after his death. How he would have appreciated this
    season! We miss and love you, Howard!

  • frankmcdonnell

    Theater Talk ranks with programs like Charlie Rose for the most
    intelligent (and humorous) show on TV. I think in almost every
    interview with an actor/ theater professional (and what incredible
    actors you have interviewed) I have learned something or been amazed
    at the insight they share.

  • marcinthedark5

    Theater Talk deserves the Tony Award for all that it does for the
    Theatre. It is a vital source of information, insight and humor. I
    love it!!!

  • edscheid

    I enjoy the show

  • Anonymous

    Obviously it wasn’t musical theatre’s best outing. However some
    incredible non-musicals brought music to my ears and heart. And I am
    quite enamored wityh your show.

  • comedy2345

    On the show, I like it when you interview someone about old
    productions, or playwrights.
    The show on Shaw was great…and Shakespeare…Hvaing just read
    Dodsworth (the play) I think Sidney Howard would be a good topic…if
    anyone else remembers him.

  • canoedrew

    love the episodes of Theater Talk that feature a composer at the
    piano.

  • knottrg@hotmail.com

    Why hasn’t Jim Dale ever been on Theater Talk?

  • Anonymous

    Keep up the thoroughly entertaining and insightful
    interviews. We look forward to every one.

  • Earl Kunz

    Thanks for this lifeline to Broadway. And now I know who to thank (and lament) for TheatreWeek! I try to get to NYC twice a year for some shows so this helps during the dry spells. Please keep up the good work but PLEASE never again limit a topic like FOLLIES to only half a program. How about discussing touring shows etc. BTW The Addams Family was not high theater but was fun and improved immensely in the tourning edition. Now if you want to pick on shows, you should have really gone after LEAP OF FAITH and ON A CLEAR DAY… lol Looking forward to your major story line next season on SMASH.

  • Liam LIC

    Good to have a show dedicated to the theatre. It would be even better if Mr. Reidel spent less time talking (particularly about his columns or his oh-so-minor role on Smash), allowed Ms. Haskins equal time as co-host and – most importantly – allowed the guests the majority of the air time. Mr. Reidel has a column in which he can pontificate all he wants, we don’t need a recap on the show.
    I would watch more regularly but much of the time I am not interested in listening to Mr. Reidel carry on. The show is ‘Theatre Talk’ NOT ‘Michael Reidel Talk’.

  • Theater Talk Web

    Excellente!

  • Terence Goodman

    I’ve been separated from NYC and my35 year theater career for several years now and I miss New York and my theater community so much living here in Utah. Long story. I drop everything and schedule everything around Theater Talk Saturday nights at 10 to see old friends and catch up on what’s happening in NYC. theater. It’s a language only theater people know and understand and I revel in hearing it.

    I’m such a fan I’m looking to buy one of your groovy Theater Talk mugs but can’t find anywhere on your site to purchase one. Can you send me some info on that.

    Terence Goodman

  • Mary Roberts

    Just watched your program on TONY possibilities, tonight, May 25, 2013.
    I will tell you there are MANY, MANY people who remember Ben Vereen’s wonderful performance in the original “PIPPIN”, and, who would, still, MUCH prefer him.

  • Viewer Mail

    I watched the show for the first time.
    It was very interesting – I learned quite a bit about what is in the theatre these days. Glad to hear about the show about Barbra Streisand.

    I did not like the host’s irreverant behavior. I think he is immature, silly and disrespectful. I don’t even know why he sits the way he does- it is so unprofessional. I think that you should replace him. I like the female host.
    She is natural and relaxed and it is a change from some other anchors that one sees on tv but he is extreme and I don’t think he deserves to be a host.
    He isn’t nice to the guests and is insulting to some of the theatre folks.
    They need constructive comments -not insults without explanation.
    Get rid of him!

    -Carol Ann

  • Douglas

    I love your show! You learn a lot about theater by listening to people who make it happen. Also, you’re so funny. Keep up the good work. Loved the Kinky Boots episode!

  • D

    I like the show. However, I think the host, Reidel, acts like he did a big line of coke before each show. Very hyper and almost out of control. Very annoying.

  • Bob Cloxton

    Susan,
    Do you happen to know why all, or at least award winning shows are not filmed for posterity? One example: How nice it would be to see John Lloyd Young’s performance in Jersey Boys once the show closes.
    Thank you.

  • Greetings,

    Turn to Flesh Productions is a new theatre company.

    This coming Valentine’s Day Weekend, we proudly present the inaugural, world premiere play, Cupid and Psyche: A New Play in Blank Verse! This contemporary retelling of the classic Greek tale is a quintessential lovers myth that explores the nature of Love versus Lust, and the marriage of Passion to the Soul.

    Further information can be found on our website(s) http://www.turntoflesh.com and http://www.cupidandpsyche.net

    Additionally, I have included a link to our featurette below:
    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/14402f46e407a179?projector=1

  • Hi!!

    I’ve followed you for some time and based on our mutual interest, I thought you might be interested in a concert of upcoming musical composer Drew Overcash’s music. All the details you need are in the link below! Hope to see you Feb 24th!

    http://tinyurl.com/pgpcwcz

    Krysta

  • Jenny Geer

    Love the show, but wish you could give more time to Off-Broadway, there is so much great work being done and it’s much more affordable, why not give it more exposure instead of spending two episodes on the demise of Spiderman (entertaining as it was). Many thanks.

  • eccentric01

    I live and work several hundred miles west of Manhattan, and Theater Talk never seems to come on at the same time from one week to another. However, I do manage to catch an occasional episode. Of course, Theater Talk keeps me aware of what plays and musicals are being produced on that lovely island between New Jersey and Brooklyn; but, more important to me are the sharp, incisive minds expressing themselves in sharp, incisive sentences and somewhat nasal voices. Thank you for reminding me that not everything in the American Theater has that oddly pre-fabricated look of the shows that make it out here on tour, and that actual people work hard and sweat and worry and get nauseous on Opening Nights–that the desire to tell stories in the language of human behavior is still strong and deep.

  • Anonymous

    Please consider having Adam Feldman as a guest more frequently. I always enjoy hearing him speak. For example, his comments on the February 15, 2014, episode were much more insightful than the other two panelists, Michael Musto and Jesse Green, who seemed to be there for comic fodder. And although it’s fun to laugh, I primarily watch “Theatre Talk” to learn about theatre.

  • Brian Greene

    Great Show! :-)

  • Mark Isenberg

    Hello from Florida,
    As one of the not so many to see Elaine Stritch at Liberty,I was surprised how quickly you folks put together a memorial banner and tribute on her passing with the reairing of the early 2013 program before she moved back to family roots near Detroit. She was never the best singer or actress but she was always powerful,always witty and was lucky that some guy named Sondheim liked her enough to write her a couple of songs that will always shine and a few of us even remember her from the Ellen Burstyn short run tv show over twenty years ago on ABC. While Theater Talk often lacks production values,it brings gifted artists together. And a few of us outside the WNET home base,find it on Friday nights via WUSF digital tv in Tampa. later, mark

  • Vincent

    I am thoroughly disgusted by the boorish behavior, unkind to the point of cruelty, that the “host” of this show displays toward his colleague. His body language, his garb, his constant interruptions make this a difficult show to watch. Nor is he any John Simon, whose acerbic wit was more often than not well-pointed. This guy, after apologizing on the air, should either straighten up and fly right or take a walk.

  • Beau

    Can you guys upload some more Tony prediction episodes from years past to youtube please? I love watching them, seeing who the frontrunners were considered to be and looking at the winner list to see who pulled off upsets.

  • Kay

    LOVE THE SHOW. ,Michael needs to tone down his dealings with susan….it beginning to drive people away. Read the comments ? !
    The answer to the odd hours is the DVR just set to any time any where

    • Mary

      Agreed, Kay. I have seen the program only once–an interview with Alison Bechdel and the Fun Home team. I’d have preferred to have seen Susan interview them without Michael at all. He’s not at all “audacious” but instead rather thoughtless and insecure. Sorry Michael, you really should take pride in your idea of a program and the introduction of Susan to scene, and step into the background to enjoy from off-stage.

  • Jack

    Has Michael Riedel left the show? Haven’t seen him for the past several episodes. YEAH!!!! I hope nothing bad has happened to him, but it surely would be a relief to see him off Theater Talk. He’s simply too pompous; I cannot stand listening to his sarcasm-soaked remarks. Riedel’s personality is the exact reason I feel Broadway lacks a deep sense of humanity. Susan Haskins is more thoughtful, inquisitive and curious about the show’s guests. She is a better conduit for a forum on theater. Stay strong, Susan!

  • Rose Chomiak

    The show is no longer shown on WYCC,I am terribly disappointed.

  • Peter Bretz

    Can’t believe I just watched an entire 1/2 hour
    show , with so many people talking and not one
    mention of the original authors name ! Oh well
    doesn’t really matter.

  • Jm

    Love the show !!! Purchased the Tennessee Williams book by Mr.Lalhr …Great Book!!!

  • Steve Mallory

    Love the show, except for Michael Riedel.
    Self-agrandizing!
    Pomposity!
    Makes light of his co-host’s comments.
    Look up CONDESCENDING in the dictionary, surprise the definition is “SIR mikey riedel”
    He just thinks he’s the bee’s knees.
    If he wears a wedding ring I’m sure he is married to his self.
    JUST NAUSEATING!!!!

    • Steve Mallory

      I forgot to say I’m sure David Hyde Pierce based his portrayal of Dr. Miles Crane on mikey, THEY ARE SYNONYMOUS!

  • Richard M. Ticktin, Esq.

    Any interest is having Martin Charnin discuss his 40 year journey with ANNIE (as of 8/9/2016)? I rep Martin who would be delighted to track the history.

  • Nancy O'Hara

    Have we seen the last of ‘Theater Talk’? I hope not!

  • Jackie

    Reidel interrupts and leads guests into frequent bursts of raucous laughter making the show difficult to follow.
    More serious talk PLEASE!

  • James MacDonald

    This refers to a program featuring Mrs Warren’s Profession. The most shocking aspect of the play, I think, is how “reasonable” moral blackmailer George Crofts beli8eves himself to be. He is nothing less than a pimp, who attempts to coerce Vivvie Warren into marriage, believing himself to be a thoroughly decent man

  • Alexander Goldstein

    I just watched, on youtube, the 2009 episode honoring “The Boys in the Band.” I had only first read the play a few days ago, and I look forward to watching the movie. The Theatre Talk episode was excellent, but one comment I have is the supposed derivation of the line “Who do you have to fuck to get a drink around here?” I think the line, like success, has many “fathers,” but I originally read that it was spoken by a female extra on DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments,” who, tired of being pinched and mauled during the orgy of the Golden Calf, called her agent and asked “Who do I have to fuck to get off this picture?”

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