|Bernadette Peters in Concert (DVD released: n/a)|
Amazon.com essential video:
Bernadette Peters is a glorious anachronism, a tiny New Yorker with a big voice, coppery pre-Raphaelite curls, and the sort of ripe physicality that made it logical she should ignore PC and have legendary pinup artist Vargas capture her for an album cover portrait. While most of her musical peers were getting funky, getting in touch with themselves, or getting high, Peters was honing her skills as a musical actress, setting her compass by Broadway with occasional detours to Hollywood. Now Peters is acknowledged as one of the Great White Way's natural wonders, a bona fide Tony-winning musical comedy star performing here in her first full-length video concert.
Taped in London's Royal Festival Hall, this 1998 performance expands on the same song list as the 1997 Carnegie Hall debut captured in her CD Sondheim, Etc.: Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall. Like that show, the London appearance leans on Stephen Sondheim's remarkable canon, including both the shows Peters herself starred in (Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George) and those she wished she did. Indeed, her stage patter toys with the facts and fiction in her career, a refreshing wink at her own putative diva-hood. While she's clearly a thinking fan's diva, she also radiates a rare sweetness and a lush sensuality. --Sam Sutherland
|Into the Woods (DVD released: 1997-08-27)|
A baker and his wife journey into the woods in search of a cow, a red cape, a pair of golden slippers and some magic beans to lift a curse that has kept them childless. Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason and the rest of the original Broadway cast weave their magic spell over you in Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece, directed by James Lapine, a seamless fusion of fairy tale characters and what happens after "happily ever after. "With oft-recorded songs such as "Children Will Listen" and "No One is Alone," "Into the Woods" is a music lover's delight from start to finish--and will forever cement Stephen Sondheim's unparalleled position as the giant of the American musical theater.
|Sunday in the Park with George (DVD released: 1999-03-23)|
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte by Georges Seurat is one of the great paintings of the world, and in "Sunday in the Park with George," book writer James Lapine and composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim bring a story based on the work brilliantly to life. While the painting depicts people gathered on an island in the Seine, the musical goes beyond simply describing their lives. It is an exploration of art, of love, of commitment. Seurat connected dots to create images; Lapine and Sondheim use connection as the heart of all our relationships. Winner of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
|Paradise Lost (Broadway Theater Archive) (DVD released: 2002-04-30)|
Clifford Odets' portrait of the Depression, Paradise Lost, was premiered by the Group Theatre in a ground-breaking 1935 Broadway production directed by Harold Clurman and starring Luther and Stella Adler, Yiddish theatre legend Morris Carnovsky, Elia Kazan and Sanford Meisner, among others. It became one of the Group's most controversial plays and remains Odets' favorite. Set in 1932, Paradise Lost unfolds in the modest two-family home of Leo and Clara Gordon as misfortune strikes them and the people running with them. Less concerned with plot so much as characterization, it conveys what one critic calls Odets' "rich, compassionate, angry feelings for people." "It is my hope," wrote Odets, "that when people see it they're going to be glad they're alive. And I hope that after they've seen it, they'll turn to strangers sitting next to them and say 'hello.'" "A moving evocation of an apparently lost genre." --The Christian Science Monitor. With Bernadette Peters, Eli Wallach, Fred Gwynne, and Jo Van Fleet.
|Kiss, Kiss, Dahlings / The Last Mile (Broadway Theatre Archive) (DVD released: 2002-10-29)|
Kiss, Kiss, Dahlings is Wendy Wasserstein's humorous love letter to the theater, starring Tony Award-winner Blythe Danner and 4-time Emmy-winner Nancy Marchand (Lou Grant, The Sopranos) together with Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) as three generations of actresses in three different eras. Also featuring talk-show host Charlie Rose. Terrence McNally's The Last Mile captures both the comic and the poignant minutes in an opera diva's life just before the curtain rises on her Metropolitan Opera debut in "Tosca". Starring two-time Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters (Annie) and Nathan Lane (The Birdcage). Also starring Paul Sorvino and Bill Irwin.
|In Concert - the Best of Broadway (DVD released: 2002-07-16) |