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Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy (2012)

 NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BDSRB2S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,722 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

BONUS FEATURES
  • Bonus disc with additional interview clips and performances (3 hours)
  • 16-page viewer’s guide featuring reflections on Jewish Broadway, with an introduction by Executive Producer Barbara Brilliant
  • Biography of narrator Joel Grey


SDH subtitles

Editorial Reviews

As seen on PBS

Performances by Matthew Broderick, Kelli O'Hara, Zero Mostel, Nathan Lane, Barbra Streisand, Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, and many more

Engaging, humorous, and provocative, Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical. The film showcases the work of legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim. Interviews with songwriters and luminaries including Sheldon Harnick, Stephen Schwartz, Harold Prince, Arthur Laurents, Charles Strouse, and Mel Brooks provide insight, alongside standout performances and archival footage.

Narrated by Tony® and Academy Award® winner Joel Grey, this entertaining documentary mingles cultural history with illuminating perspectives on the origins and meanings of some of Broadway's most beloved songs, stories, and shows.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational entertainment DVD--a joy to view & hear April 10, 2013
GREAT, though I'm no Broadway musicals expert. This DVD made me want to watch musical after musical after musical. This DVD documentary considers a number of significant and much acclaimed shows. My experience with musicals has been enjoyable, but never one presented in NYC. It is not a definitive list but the people behind the productions discussed do tend to be heavily Jewish, the reason for the special emphasis and look at one nationality's impact on the art form. Note the emphasis is more on Jewish artists' (acting, writing, composing, directing) culture, not religion.

With narration by Joel Grey, it begins with early Yiddish theater--quickly the Broadway American Musical began to draw inspiration heavily from the NYC Jewish population. In 1920s 1 in 4 of NYC population was Jewish, partially explaining the heavy participation in musical production. Of course there are exceptions noted on this documentary. A major one being Cole Porter, who actually had 3 shows flops initially. Porter actually told Richard Rogers he was planning to write Jewish tunes--a sure method, accord to Porter, toward musical theater success. Cole Porter scores big in the 1930s.

An abundance of delightful archival footage of NYC and the theater district, Times Square is used. Also footage of old classic performance bits, even including the Marx Bros. For many Jews a name change was necessary to find success, i.e. Israel Baline (Irving Berlin); Jacob Gershowitz (George Gershwin); Isidone Hochbery (Yip Harburg) who wrote "The Wizard of Oz" lyrics, combining with composer Hyman Arluck (Harold Arlen). Jewish Kurt Weill changed from Germany's top theater composer to NYC due to Hitler.

SDH SUBTITLES provided.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing disks May 10, 2013
Verified Purchase
It's an interesting documentary on the subject and the interviews are insightful but the lack of clips of full musical numbers is very disappointing and lets face it, most composers do not have the voice to sing their music. Disk 2 is supposed to have 3 hours of additional content including performances, however, unless they are hidden in an "easter egg" I have not found them,
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Braodway Musicals; A Jewish Legacy - terrific November 13, 2013
Verified Purchase
The actual DVD Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy was very interesting, although the accompanying DVD with extended interviews was not so exciting. However as this is a bonus DVD it would not stop me from recommending people to buy the DVD's as the main DVD is terrific.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it! May 14, 2013
Verified Purchase
This is a great story about telling great stories! And it is beautifully done. It pulled me in and I did not want to leave - even at the end!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful May 30, 2013
By Nancy
Verified Purchase
This is a terrific DVD, saw it first on public television and loved it then. Highly recommend it for education and entertainment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable November 16, 2013
Verified Purchase
I saw this program on public television and then later bought it as a gift for a friend who enjoys the history of Broadway.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic November 1, 2013
Verified Purchase
Speedy delivery, great DVD and a special gift for my parent who are that generation... especially the positive focus on Jewish culture thank you!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Musical History on DVD June 9, 2013
By Jack
Verified Purchase
Poor quality color. Bonus disc is really a stretch at 3 hours. This SHOULD have been a winner. The Jewish legacy on B'way is remarkable. This compilation does not do it justice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective.
One might think the title of this documentary to be presumptuous, to say the least, but in reality, Broadway musicals ARE almost exclusively a Jewish legacy. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Jon Wynne
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent musical history and good entertainment
I bought this to use with younger students, and it is a great time as well. I learned new things from it.
Published 1 month ago by R. Prada
3.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary with damage
The film was awesome. We watched it in a workshop at our Synagogue and I am planning on donating it to the library. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and informative
A first-rate examination of the vital contribution Jewish talents have made to the musical theatre. The DVD includes some interviews and musical performances not shown on PBS,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by johnkenrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!
I loved the incredible overview of this dvd. I had not idea that so much history was recorded on film. This dvd is a MUST for anyone interested in the Broadway Musical.
Published 2 months ago by charla ann hayen
5.0 out of 5 stars Intertaining like a Broadway show!
Very informative and yet presented with humour and levity in the spirit of Broadway. Great selections of interviews also.
Paule-Audrey
Published 3 months ago by Paule-Audrey MINKLEY
4.0 out of 5 stars Great overview
Not unlimited in scope, but filled with lots of great rare moments and reflections. A great asset to a library of musical theatre.
Published 3 months ago by STEPHEN PIETRANTONI
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Talents
The history of Music & Musicals as shown in this collection, is an eye opener to both those that lived through that period and to the young wanting to learn about the era of the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by salomon
5.0 out of 5 stars From Vaudeville to Broadway: The Jewish heritage of the American...
An entertaining history of the influence of Jewish songwriters and performers on the American musical theater, from vaudeville to modern Boradway. Read more
Published 5 months ago by R. Auletta
4.0 out of 5 stars Broadway Musicals, Documentary
It provided great documentary information on the history, background and influences of the composers and lyricists with some musical excerpts for illustration purposes. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sheila
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