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Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy (2012)

 NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.99
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Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy + Broadway: The American Musical
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: Athena
  • DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BDSRB2S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,528 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

Recent Peabody Award winner 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
35 of 35 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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9 of 9 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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15 of 18 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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7 of 7 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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8 of 9 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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7 of 8 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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3 of 3 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary with damage March 14, 2014
Verified Purchase
The film was awesome. We watched it in a workshop at our Synagogue and I am planning on donating it to the library. There was only one problem on the out takes we found a skip in several minutes of the dialogue.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Legacy borne of exclusion of others
There is no doubt there have been some talented Jews creating on Broadway, but I suggest that it was Jews hiring Jews and not many others - certainly not any non-Jews - got much of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Planet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect history and entertainment
Published 1 month ago by Diane Gardner
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Interesting!
I saw this on PBS and was thrilled that it is available in a DVD. It is wonderful! And Informative.
Published 2 months ago by Carol from Chelmsford
2.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware
Thought I was getting what I had seen on PBS. Wrong! This is apparently an edited version, and as such is a great disappointment to me. Wasted my money on this one.
Published 2 months ago by Jack F. Sokol
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Very interesting and entertaining
Loved it! Very interesting and entertaining. It was great to see some of the stars when they were young.

Very good and very clean-cut !
Published 3 months ago by Rusty Groffman
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 5 months 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 6 months ago by R. Prada
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 7 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 7 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 8 months ago by Paule-Audrey MINKLEY
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