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Broadways Lost Treasures Vol 3

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Badly chosen and assembled -- but buy it anyway Oct. 28 2005
By Blu-ray Bill - Published on
As thankful as I am to see any footage of Broadway performers released, the Broadway Lost Treasures series is really -- it must be said -- a botched opportunity. There is little rhyme or reason in how the clips are chosen and assembled. The performances are good, bad and everything in between, and this latest installment has one of the weakest selections yet.

First, I wish that the lip-synched numbers would just be omitted altogether -- to me, they don't qualify as a performance. So don't get your hopes up for Gwen Verdon's "Whatever Lola Wants" (unless you only care about the dancing) or Angela Lansbury's "Everything's Coming Up Roses." They both fall in this category.

Now, let's move on to the highlights of this DVD:

The best segments are those that give glimpses of golden-age musicals not captured on film and unlikely to appear on stage again.

It's great to see Jerry Orbach doing a song from Burt Bacharach's "Promises, Promises." Although it's a bad night vocally for him, the energy is there. The segment from "The Happy Time" is definitely one of the disc's highlights, with Robert Goulet attractive and charming. And the number from the largely forgotten "How Now, Dow Jones" is very enjoyable too.

In addition, three titans of Broadway's peak years are captured -- well after their own peaks, but better late than never.

Ethel Merman is absolutely wonderful in a truncated medley -- amazingly, about 42 years after her stage debut. In the bit from "Call Me Madam," Merman essentially uses her co-star, Larry Blyden, as a stage prop, to hilarious effect. And the "Gypsy" number is both electrifying and moving. That's Broadway, folks, with a capital M. The crime is that the medley was very crudely cut for this DVD -- according to Broadway expert Ken Mandelbaum, three songs were removed. That's close to unforgivable.

Alfred Drake, in a number from "Kiss Me Kate," is also quite good, although the last note is a little rough.

And Julie Andrews is beautiful and luminous, if a bit cautious vocally, in her medley from "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot."

Also worthwhile are Chita Rivera, exhibiting tremendous career-comeback talent in "Kiss of the Spider Woman," and Zero Mostel mugging his way (as usual) through "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

With a few exceptions, the rest of the disc is expendable. But buy it for the above alone. Hopefully, it will encourage others with rights to historical footage of Broadway performers to release DVDs of their own treasures (e.g., more from the Ed Sullivan show) and do a better job of it.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
highs and lows May 1 2006
By Regina Phalange - Published on
Verified Purchase
This DVD has some very ho-hum material, so unmemorable that I can't recall what I want to say about it. I agree with other reviewers that the lip-synched Angela Lansbury is quite lame. However, can we talk about why I bought it?

The 42nd street number is everything you expect from broadway--the ultimate huge tap number.

Debbie Allen's performance of "America" is quite satisfying.

I cried tears of nostalgia listening to Julie Andrew reprise Camelot and My Fair Lady.

The Fosse Number (Sing, Sing Sing)is so very, very Fosse.

After viewing the title number from Ragtime, I will now have to move heaven and earth to see the show.

But....this DVD is worth owning for the soul-stirring performance of Michel Bell singing "Ol' Man River" in Showboat. Bass voices are not known for their clarity, but this guy is simply amazing. The beauty and passion of this performance is overwhelming. The harmony of the cast is gorgeous.

BTW, I saw him perform it live on stage in the musical. When the number ended, no one clapped for a span of few seconds. All that could be heard in the Fabulous Fox were sniffles---coming from all the audience members who were moved to tears. True story.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as previous editions Oct. 6 2005
By T. Kaufman - Published on
Verified Purchase
This dvd is not as exciting as some of its previous editions but is still satifying. Thanks to PBS for retrieving this "treasures" so fans can enjoy these performances. I enjoyed the contemporary clips from Charlie Brown, Ragtime, Saigon, and Into the Woods. And I even liked the rare Ethel Merman and Angela Lansbury clips. I was however disapointed by the "bonus" features Too Many Girls and Happy Time. In my opinon they were not eleven o clock numbers. In future editions it would be great to see Jennifer Holidays And Im Telling You from Dreamgirls or something from SideShow. It would also be great to see clips from Chorus Line, Company, Follies or anything else from 70's and 80's. I think its great these dvds are coming out but the numbers need to be more showstoppers. This includes the bonus features. Buy this to complete your collection but look forward to better material in the future.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A good volume 3 Nov. 14 2006
By R. Seelig - Published on
I now have all 3 volumes of this particular set, and like the other ones, it has its' ups and downs. Ups?? Definitely "My New Philosophy" by Kristin Chenowith from the revival of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"; Jonathan Pryce doing "The American Dream" from "Miss Saigon"; the late (and most definitely great) Jerry Orbach doing "She Likes Basketball" from "Promises, Promises" (so that is what he looked like in 1968), Zero Mostel doing "Comedy Tonight" from "Forum". The downs?? Desi Arnaz's song was much too short, Roert Goulet singing "The Happy Time" (is that the best they could find for him?)

But the best part is that for the younger Broadway fans is that this volume, like the others, lets them see the greats of Broadway at their best. And it reminds the rest of us just how much fun it was to watch the Tony Awards then.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
OK, When are we getting to the really special stuff??? Dec 4 2005
By Richard Clausen - Published on
Verified Purchase
Yes, there have been some wonderful moments in the "Treasures" series, and all of them are appreciated, but where are the most obvious choices? Are we just being teased? Where's Jennifer Holiday in Dreamgirls, Dorothy Loudon doing "Vodka", even Glenn Close's "With one Look" along with so many other brilliant performances, even the short dramatic ones - who can forget Maggie Smith's turn in Lettuce and Lovich? With so many brilliant choices, let's lose the more pedestrian choices going forward and really go for broke with the next (Lord willing) one. By the way, wouldn't it be incredible to find a film of Merman performing "Rose's Turn" - What a Loss!