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5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure
I grew up in a backwater town in California, so all I knew of Bway musicals came from OBC albums which I reveled in (until 1970 when I moved to NYC and saw some Bway shows and was bored out of my mind by them). Since my childhood, Bway has been replaced in my affections by Bach. But this DVD is a treasure, pure gold, a sheer delight. It is a rare and miraculous chance...
Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Joseph Hart

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3.0 out of 5 stars Best of Broadway?
I bought this DVD with great delight as I love Broadway Musicals. I was quite disapointed in the performances of the songs. The performers for the most part were wooden and uninspired. Carol Channing singing "Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend" was a notable exception, though. She conveyed the fun and humor of the song and gave a great performance. There was close...
Published on March 25 2004 by Bookworm229


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5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure, Feb. 15 2004
By 
Joseph Hart (Visalia, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Best of Broadway Musicals: Original Cast Perfomances From the Ed Sullivan Show [Import] (DVD)
I grew up in a backwater town in California, so all I knew of Bway musicals came from OBC albums which I reveled in (until 1970 when I moved to NYC and saw some Bway shows and was bored out of my mind by them). Since my childhood, Bway has been replaced in my affections by Bach. But this DVD is a treasure, pure gold, a sheer delight. It is a rare and miraculous chance to go back 50 years and see these people do what they did the way they did it then. I loved it almost completely and have ordered a copy of the DVD (the one I watched was rented). A few quibbles. Merman only sang a few lines of "No Business," but that was okay with me because I've seen and heard lots of her and am tired of both her voice and that song (though she did have the ear to go to her grave baffled by the success of Stephen Sondheim). Pearl Bailey's number was I thought both colorless and flat, as was that dreadful choreography which for some reason followed a knock-out dance by Bob Fosse, which I thought was one of the highlights of the disc. Channing also was kind of dull, her number abbreviated, and the gimmick she did with the audience just a bit too. Finally the touted interviews with the two sets of songwriters amounted to no more than a minute apiece, I don't recall Lowe saying anything at all, and I know Rodgers wasn't even in it. But. Rodgers himself conducted his own "Oklahoma!" and then smiled and shook hands with John Raitt which was wonderful. Enough quibbles. Everything else else shone like a newly minted coin. Newley sang his own "Who Can I Turn To?" and (like all the others) it was a jolt and a pleasure to see HOW he sang it, gestures, facial expressions. (Incidentally, that song, commonly thought to be a love song, is actually a prayer, Cocky is singing to god, which explains some of Newley's gestures.) Everyone has his favorites on this disc I'm sure, I loved pretty much all of it. I couldn't get over the fact that I was actually looking into the past and seeing these performers as they were then, doing what made them "great." Also, it was only about 53 minutes long, so I didn't have time to get too bored, it was a treasure I will cherish and no doubt watch again, now back to Bach.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure, Feb. 14 2004
By 
Joseph Hart (Visalia, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Best of Broadway Musicals: Original Cast Perfomances From the Ed Sullivan Show [Import] (DVD)
I grew up in a backwater town in California, so my only exposure to Bway shows (until 1970 when I got to NYC and was bored out of my mind by them) was OBC albums, and I reveled in them. They have since been replaced by Bach. This DVD is almost pure gold, it is a rare miraculous chance to travel back 50 years and see these performers doing what they did at the time and in the way that they did it. Ethel Merman sang only a few lines of "No Business," but I didn't mind, she was over exposed and I'm tired both of her voice and that song (though she did have the ear to go to her grave baffled by the success of Stephen Sondheim). I thought Pearl Bailey's number was colorless and dull, likewise its choreography which for some reason followed a Bob Fosse dance which was a knock-out! Channing was kind of dull too, her number much abbreviated, and the bit she did with the audience was a bit too. Finally (one last quibble), the touted interviews with the two pairs of songwriters amounted to no more than a minute apiece, and Rodgers was in neither of them. That was a rip-off. But. Rodgers himself conducted "Oklahoma!" and smiled and shook hands with John Raitt which was wonderful. Everything else was a sheer delight, pure diamonds and gold, a chance to see these performers in their own shows doing what made them "great." The DVD is only about 53 minutes long, but that was long enough, the grown-up boredom didn't overcome me, the thing kept its interest, now back to Bach.
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5.0 out of 5 stars historic Broadway gems, Jan. 30 2004
This is a historical collection of Broadway hits by some of the greatest stars that have graced the American musical theater, and includes interviews with Oscar Hammerstein, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, and Richard Rodgers conducts his "Oklahoma !" in the first segment.
A small portion of Ethel Merman singing "There's No Business Like Show Business" is part of the introduction, and John Raitt is the narrator throughout.
The two selections from "Oklahoma", are in concert format, the rest of the scenes are in costume, though all are performed during the Ed Sullivan telecasts. Most of it is in black and white, with the last three songs from '66 and '67 in color.
"Oklahoma !" (1955): "Oklahoma !", with John Raitt, Celeste Holm, Florence Henderson, Barbara Cook and Richard Collett. "I Cain't Say No", with Celeste Holm.
"Flower Drum Song" (1958): "I Enjoy Being a Girl", with the petite, sparkling Pat Suzuki.
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1959): "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" with Carol Channing, who has fun at the end of the song going down the aisle of the theater throwing rhinestone bangles into the audience.
"My Fair Lady" (1961): "Wouldn't it be Loverly" with the beautiful Julie Andrews and the singers and dancers from the cast.
"West Side Story" (1958): "Tonight" with Carol Lawrence and Larry Kert. Carol Lawrence is radiant, and both are vocally superb. It's a lovely scene, even with the very shaky balcony rail they are hanging on to !
"Camelot" (1961): "What do the Simple Folk Do ?" with Julie Andrews and Richard Burton. Burton, here in his glorious prime, is hilarious as he dances a very awkward jig. The man could act, and even sing, but he could definitely not dance...and he knows it, making it a very funny scene.
"The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd" (1965): "Who Can I Turn To ?", with Anthony Newley, singing in the show he wrote with Leslie Bricusse. One of the most unique talents of his era, Newley is riveting in this song.
"Man of La Mancha" (1966): "The Impossible Dream", with the marvelous Richard Kiley.
"Sweet Charity" (1966): "I'm a Brass Band", brilliantly performed by Gwen Verdon. Verdon was the quintessential interpreter of her husband, Bob Fosse's choreography, as can be seen here.
"Hello Dolly !" (1967): "Before the Parade Passes By", with the one and only Pearl Bailey, looking fabulous and singing her heart out.
So many of these extraordinary artists are no longer with us, and I miss the kind of entertainment that the Ed Sullivan Show provided television viewers. In between the plate-spinners and other oddities, he presented superb performances by the very best in show business, all looking unvarnished and so real. If you are a fan of musical theater, this is a collection of gems well worth watching. Total running time is 56 minutes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Performances - Well Done, Nov. 11 2003
This review is from: The Best of Broadway Musicals: Original Cast Perfomances From the Ed Sullivan Show [Import] (DVD)
What you will find on this DVD is nearly 60 minutes of pure entertainment! Complete performances by some of the great Broadway and theater performers of the 1950's and 60's. With the exception of one, these are FULL performances without editing or voice-over. If you've ever watched a tribute show where you get to see a 15-second blip of a classic performance, then you need to add this DVD to your collection.
My only flaw (hence 4 stars, not 5) is that the first number with Ethel Merman is incomplete; although it is listed on the back cover of the DVD, it is NOT listed on the inside "Chapter Index", nor is it included on the DVD Scene Index. Chapter 1 is simply titled "Introduction" and includes a portion of the performance. Again the only flaw.
The overall quality is very good, keeping in mind there was no Dolby Surround Sound 30 plus years ago! The DVD extras are just filler, nothing substantial, some text to read about each show. By all means, this DVD is worth the money, and if people support this type of programming, I imaine the companies will produce more - a second volume is indicated in the credits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make them like that anymore...., Oct. 13 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of Broadway Musicals: Original Cast Perfomances From the Ed Sullivan Show [Import] (DVD)
This DVD is an absolute joy to watch in that it captures what I have only ever read about: the "magic" of the Broadway Musical. Here all the performers sing without radio mikes, studio mixers and god knows what other electronic devices used these days to get a performer's voice in tune and past the footlights. Being born in the wrong country and at the wrong time (in relation to the Golden Age of Broadway) I have never had the opportunity to see and feel the "magic" of a Broadway show - yes I have seen Australian productions and as good as they are they do not create the magic that is suggested to me by the Broadway cast recordings. To all those lovers of the Broadway Musical please buy this DVD so the studio will release Volume 2. Volume 1 is well worth the money. Bring on Volume 2!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Best of Broadway?, March 25 2004
This review is from: The Best of Broadway Musicals: Original Cast Perfomances From the Ed Sullivan Show [Import] (DVD)
I bought this DVD with great delight as I love Broadway Musicals. I was quite disapointed in the performances of the songs. The performers for the most part were wooden and uninspired. Carol Channing singing "Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend" was a notable exception, though. She conveyed the fun and humor of the song and gave a great performance. There was close to no staging, just the artist standing there singing. The interviews with the composers while interesting, would have been better as part of the extras. They seem to simply be there to fill out the DVD. The space could have been better filled by more performances.
I expected so much more than what this DVD delivered. Buy "Broadway's Lost Treasures, instead. The money is better spent and the DVD is much more entertaining.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Time Capsule from the past, Feb. 28 2004
By 
DLMRM "raineymag" (Raleigh, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Broadway Musicals: Original Cast Perfomances From the Ed Sullivan Show [Import] (DVD)
This was pure delight - straight from a time when live TV broadcasts were the norm. I've always loved Broadway musicals, and I look forward to Part Two of this one (it was previewed on the DVD and even told us what would be included).
How pleasant to watch nearly an hour of wonderful performances and note that no-one had to grab their crotch to call it entertainment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just Great!, Jan. 4 2004
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This review is from: The Best of Broadway Musicals: Original Cast Perfomances From the Ed Sullivan Show [Import] (DVD)
Like the rest, I loved this and my only complaint was also the incomplete Merman "There's No Business Like Show Biz." I want Vol. 2 -- where is it? This DVD promised it and even gave you the lineup. Btw, it was great fun to see Richard Burton dance and Barbara Cook VERY petite.
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