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If you found this review by searching Amazon you probably know something about the musical so I won't go into too much detail about it but will concentrate on the DVD release. Briefly, the 1944 musical takes place in a "hoop skirt factory" on the eve of the Civil War. It's about women's rights, slavery and racism - topics that composers Harold Arlen and "Yip" Harburg turn into wonderful songs. The big hit here is "The Eagle and Me" sung beautifully by Rawn Spearman. Spearman gets to sing again, along with two fellow African Americans (including actor Brock Peters - here listed as "Broc" in the credits) for "I Got A Song", a song new to me but beautifully performed. Barbara Cook and Keith Anders are the romantic leads and in great voice. Another reason that this broadcast is important is that the dances choreographed by Agnes De Mille for the Broadway production are re-staged for television by De Mille utilizing some of the principal dances from the Broadway production 15 years earlier.
This is a BLACK& WHITE kinescope of the show that aired on "Producers Showcase" in 1956. Because a kinescope is a film of a TV image it is never as sharp as a direct film. In this case the image is clean (no dust marks or scratches) but the contrast is not as high as you might hope for. I do not have an HD TV so can't tell what it'll look like on that. (My TV is 33-year-old 27 inch Sony). But the sound is great!Read more ›
civilization from artefacts. It brings us back to a time when Broadway musicals
were central in American life. Everyone knew about them, went to them, played the
records...and saw them revived almost every week on television. The showings were
cut way down from the original Broadway running time, but they featured the kind of
performers who were working prominently on Broadway in this era--Barbara Cook was
about to go into Plain and Fancy and then The Music Man, and Keith Andes was in
between replacing Alfred Drake in Kiss Me, Kate and playing opposite Lucille Ball
in Wildcat. And Agnes de Mille was recreating two of her Bloomer Girl dances, the
one following "It Was Good Enough For Grandma" and the famous Civil War Ballet.
So this tape brings us back to a longlost time. The cutdown script is not so
great, but what's left of the score is wonderful, and everyone plays with authentic
style. The CD might be a better bet because the songs are so good. And there are
quite a lot of them, too--the original 78 set was one of the longest of the 1940s.
But most customers will probably want a full-scale performance, albeit cut way
back from the original.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The television version of "Bloomer Girl", recorded in the Fifties, manages to capture the feel of a Broadway show, although its sets are a bit more realistic. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Peter C. Morrison
Just WHO is this young girl by the name of BARBARA COOK?
What a JOY it is to see a young Barbara Cook singing her soul out in this rickety vehicle. Read more
This has value as a record of the young Barbara Cook, in fine voice.. The black and white print has been transferred without any digital improvement, so is far from 'high... Read morePublished on May 28, 2013 by Alan Barker
I couldn't disagree more with J.A.Newcomer's negative review. I, too, had heard these songs for years and to finally see the show they came from - and to see how topical it still... Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by marknyc