The people are gone. The doors are locked. Darkness descends inside a department store. Fleeing the pressures of the outside world, an unhappy poet is at last alone. But not for long. In his newfound sanctuary, he comes across a group of hermits who have been hiding there for years. Among them is a young girl with whom he falls in love.
Specially created for television, Evening Primrose aired only once on ABC Stage 67. Starring Anthony Perkins and Charmian Carr, the production featured a teleplay adapted by James Goldman (from a short story by John Collier) and a score that included some of Stephen Sondheim’s most hauntingly beautiful songs – among them “I Remember” and “Take Me to the World.”
This long-lost treasure is now available for the first time ever – impeccably restored and re-mastered from a newly discovered, pristine kinescope print.
INCLUDES OVER 80 MINUTES OF BONUS FEATURES
Newly recorded video interview with director Paul Bogart
Newly recorded audio interview with Charmian Carr
Paul Bogart’s full color test footage with Anthony Perkins
28-page booklet with contributions by Stephen Sondheim and Jane Klain of the Paley Center for Media
A rare television find, Evening Primrose
is a 1966 musical that aired on ABC Stage 1967 and is most notable for its music and lyrics by a young Stephen Sondheim. Anthony Perkins plays Charles, a poet who takes refuge from the outside world in a department store, only to find it already inhabited by a group of hermits called dark men. Among them is a young woman named Ella (Charmian Carr) who has lived in the store since the age of 6. She and Charles fall in love and try to leave the store, but find resistance from the store residents, led by Mrs. Monday (Dorothy Stickney) and Rosco Potts (Larry Gates). The 52-minute black-and-white program was based on a story by John Collier and adapted by James Goldman, and the four songs are distinctively Sondheim, early in his career but after his Broadway shows A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
and Anyone Can Whistle
. The best song, "I Remember," became famous in Sondheim compilations and concerts, but many people first heard all four in a 1990 recording by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. Perkins, a friend of Sondheim, isn't a great singer, but navigates the score well, showing why he was in the early discussions of casting for Company
. And Carr, fresh off her role as Liesl in The Sound of Music
, is appealing enough as the imperiled heroine. In 1973, Sondheim and Perkins collaborated to write the non-musical mystery movie The Last of Sheila --David Horiuchi