Top positive review
on February 15, 2004
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.