Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Broadway - The American Musical |
Actors: Tim Breese, Richard Costas, Paul Daley, Teri DiGianfelice, Rich DiMinno
Genres: Television, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 10/12/2004 Rating: Nr
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Broadway for Dummies.
Mister Chris | Peekskill, New York USA | 02/26/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...and being a self-professed "dummy" on the American Musical Theater I found this sort of "Broadway History 101" to be, at best, an entertaining starting point. I believe director Michael Kantor was handicapped from the start since the whole history of the "Great White Way" encompasses such a huge array of giants and geniuses (Ziegfeld, Jolson, Gershwin...) that at a mere six hours, the documentary feels like being on a bus tour speeding at 90 miles an hour. That odd feeling is magnified with Episode Four: "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'(1943-1960), the single most important gem in the chest. As been noted elsewhere, that golden era of the fabulous "Book Musicals" which produced an unmatchable run of landmark classics like "Oklahoma" and "My Fair Lady" could have alone been given a six hour treatment instead of this set's rushed, caffeinated hour. Clearly, the episode in Broadway parlance "lays an egg" and compromises this documentary's overall quality.
Still, there is fun to be had here and the filmmakers manage to skirt PBS' tendency to turn a giddy subject into a glum funeral march. Julie Andrews is an exquisite host and I disagree with criticism about the high amount of movie clips used in episodes One through Three. Movies of the 1930's in particular the early "talkies" appropriated so much of Broadway's luster and lore it seems only natural to use them. I also loved the novel use of a song's lyrics by showing the words playfully dancing in an about a sheet of music or a photograph. And best of all, the "talking heads" used here all have something interesting to say with humor and clarity- a key element missing in, say, Ken Burn's "Jazz."
Timeline of Broadway Theatre
D. Mesirow | 01/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Broadway - The Amercian Musical" is a PBS series that tells the story of Broadway musical theatre in several chapters. The documentary uses interviews and footage to tell a narrative of Broadway's history.
The story starts with the "Ziegfeld Follies," presenting the important role of producer Florenz Ziegfeld in bringing the Broadway musical to life.
The DVD series goes on to chronicle the contributions of the major composers of the Broadway stage: Gershwin, Berlin, Kern, Rodgers, Porter, Bernstein, Sondheim, among others. It also celebrates the giant performers of the Broadway stage, such as singer Ethel Merman, who could "hold a note forever."
The Broadway narrative continues through to recent musicals such as "Rent" and "The Lion King." Watching "Broadway - The American Musical" is both a fun and educational experience."