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Sondheim! The Birthday Concert [Blu-ray] (2010)

Stephen Sondheim , Bernadette Peters , Lonny Price  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Stephen Sondheim, Bernadette Peters, Elaine Stritch, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin
  • Directors: Lonny Price
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00404ME24
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Liner notes

  • Editorial Reviews

    Join us for a rousing celebration of the life and work of one of Broadway�s greatest legends � the one and only Stephen Sondheim. For the master composer and lyricist�s 80th birthday, many of musical theater�s brightest stars gathered to perform more than two dozen sensational numbers from Sondheim�s illustrious career. Many of these enduring songs are rarely heard and several are performed by the original Broadway cast members. David Hyde Pierce hosts this magical event with Stephen Sondheim�s longtime collaborator Paul Gemignani conducting the New York Philharmonic.

    Filmed live, March 15�16, 2010 at Avery Fisher Hall, New York City

    Performances Include:

  • "America" (Dancers, West Side Story)
  • "Something�s Coming" (Alexander Gemingnani, West Side Story)
  • "We�re Gonna Be Alright" (Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Do I Hear a Waltz?)
  • "Don�t Laugh" (Victoria Clark, Hot Spot)
  • "Johanna"(Nathan Gunn, Sweeney Todd)
  • "You�re Gonna Love Tomorrow" and "Love Will See Us Through" (Matt Cavenaugh, Jenn Colella, Laura Osnes, Bobby Steggert, Follies)
  • "Too Many Mornings" (Nathan Gunn, Audra McDonald, Follies)
  • "The Road You Didn�t Take" (John McMartin, Follies)
  • "It Takes Two" (Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Into the Woods)
  • "Growing Up" (Jim Walton, Merrily We Roll Along)
  • "Finishing the Hat" (Mandy Patinkin, Sunday in the Park with George)
  • "Move On" (Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Sunday in the Park with George)
  • "Pretty Women" (Michael Cerveris, George Hearn, Sweeney Todd)
  • "A Little Priest" (Michael Cerveris, George Hearn, Patti LuPone, Sweeney Todd)
  • �Theme from �Reds�� with Pas De Deux (NY Philharmonic, Two ABT Dancers Maria and Blaine)
  • "So Many People" (Laura Benanti, Saturday Night)
  • "Beautiful Girls" (David Hyde Pierce)
  • "Ladies Who Lunch" (Patti LuPone, Company)
  • "Losing My Mind" (Marin Mazzie� Follies)
  • "The Glamorous Life" (Audra McDonald, A Little Night Music)
  • "Could I Leave You?" (Donna Murphy, Follies)
  • "Not a Day Goes By" (Bernadette Peters, Merrily We Roll Along)
  • "I�m Still Here" (Elaine Stritch, Follies)
  • "Sunday" (Broadway Chorus, Sunday in the Park with George)
  • "Happy Birthday" (All Cast)

  • Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    As a bit of a theater nerd, I believe I have seen every tribute to Stephen Sondheim ever created--and let's be honest, that's too many to count these days! But seriously, what's not to love? And why not? With such a terrific oeuvre, I'm not complaining. Even so, I found "Sondheim: The Birthday Concert" to be especially effective. Most of these retrospectives feature the top echelon of talent--and this is certainly no exception. What was refreshing, however, were the more unusual selections to make it into the concert. There weren't the typical warhorses you might expect (nary a "Clown" in sight). Heck, you know things have gone wonky when one of the featured numbers is a dance to the "Theme to 'Reds'." All in all, then, the surprises are what make this particularly noteworthy.

    The absolutely transcendent highlight of the show comes near the end as six actresses square off center stage. But before I get to that, I'll just say that David Hyde Pearce is a nimble host. The earlier moments that stood out for me are the pairings--Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley are a delight, Joanna Gleason and Chip Zien have a charming reunion from "Into the Woods" and Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin slay with a powerful selection from "Sunday in the Park With George." But truly, no one hits a wrong note here--the entire production is spot-on.

    But the Diva sing off is beyond words. With Peters, Mazzie, Donna Murphy, Patty LuPone, Audra McDonald, and Elaine Stritch--you think I'm going to say I didn't like it? Not a chance. LuPone is strong, McDonald (one of my all time favorites) is precise, and Stritch belts out her signature number to crowd pleasing perfection (however, it is the third concert this year where I've seen her do it).
    Read more ›
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    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars WORTH EVERY PENNY ... November 18, 2010
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    if only to see and hear "Losing My Mind" (Marin Mazzie- Follies)SHOW-STOPPER!!! and "The Glamorous Life" (Audra McDonald- A Little Night Music), "Leave You" (Donna Murphy- Follies), "Not a Day Goes By" (Bernadette Peters- Merrily We Roll Along), "I'm Still Here" (Elaine Stritch- Follies).

    Living proof that musical-theatre can indeed be ART!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    53 of 63 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Breathtaking September 15, 2010
    Format:DVD
    I was lucky enough to be there as well and I have to say... buy this without a question. Totally magical, David Hyde Pierce was a marvelous emcee, and the cast was obviously star-studded. Only Stephen Sondheim's birthday could bring these amazing performers together. Worth it just for the overwhelming finale; I don't think there was a dry eye in the audience. Just buy it.
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    49 of 62 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars I WAS THERE!!!!!!!! September 3, 2010
    By Scott
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    My aunt and I were there as the concert was filmed live. It was definitely a memorable evening. It's as if time stood still as brilliant performers recreated their legendary performances such as Bernadette and Mandy singing "Move On" from "Sunday in The Park" and the baker and his wife- Chip Zien (one of the nicest people to meet in person) and Joanna Gleason singing "It Takes Two" from "Into The Woods." Patti sings "Ladies Who Lunch" in front of Elaine Stritch and Elaine performed "I'm Still Here" as the finale. (I wish they would have swapped songs.) And Bernadette did "Not A Day Goes By," again.
    Nothing from Gypsy but Sondheim didn't write the music.

    It was a historical night we'll never forget. And we met Dr. Ruth who was sitting next to us!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Night Music. No Really, Very Little. December 10, 2010
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    "Sondheim: The Birthday Concert," filmed at Avery Fisher Hall (Lincoln Center) in New York City this past March, is the most recent in the string of 'Great Performances' telecasts conceived in part by conductor Paul Gemignani. Previous credits include 'Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall,' and the two 'My Favorite Broadway' revues-'The Leading Ladies' (Carnegie Hall), and 'The Love Songs' (City Center). While 'The Birthday Concert' is certainly a must for the die-hard Sondheim fanatic-myself included-the series of musical selections is a bit more subdued than usually expected from Gemignani. Each of his previous well-known revues featured multiple showstoppers, including multiple numbers highlighting not only the vocal talent, but the power and versatility of the orchestra, a feature unique to the orchestra-on-stage model of the revue. Unlike his previous compilations, including those exclusively dedicated to Sondheim, 'The Birthday Concert' focuses on rarely-heard works, performances by original cast members in original roles (with less than their original power), and the dynamism the defines Sondheim's collected body of work. For the Sondheim novice, much of the significance could be easily lost. For the Sondheim veteran, 'The Birthday Concert' is a dream come true.

    Ironically, the highlight of the first act is a hard-hitting, emotional performance of 'Too Many Mornings' from FOLLIES, by powerhouses Audra McDonald and Nathan Gunn-two artists not remotely associated with Sondheim's work on Broadway. Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin revisit original roles in 'Move On' from SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, by far the best-sung of the "originals" section of the evening.
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    10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful.......but there is a companion celebration.... November 22, 2010
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    There is no way this is not an outstanding presentation. The last section with the 6 ladies is heart wrenching and pounding. For me....Stritch with her years of show-business savvy just nails "I'm Still Here". A WOW. Now on to something else. I'm not into performers not getting their royalties, but there is a sorta "pirate" that will not be shown here or released domestically of Sondheim's July 21, 2010 celebration at Royal Albert Hall in London. It is truly a desert island DVD. I've viewed it about 5 times and am amazed, not all performers we are familiar with, but all first class. Judi Dench nails "Send in the Clowns". Watching her go into character, then return, it is an acting lesson. For me, the highlight is a singer named Julian Ovendon, great to look at and a voice somewhat Gordon MacRaeish but purrrrfect for "Being Alive". It is definitive! Look him up on Utube. I'm not trying to send business to a company, but the only way I know of to get this DVD it is from The Berkshire Record Outlet...It's on the Encore label, This label can be chancy, but this looks and sounds just wonderful. Let me know how you respond to this treasure!....
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Cast of allstars!
    Published 3 days ago by N. Carlisle
    5.0 out of 5 stars What a gathering of Sondheim stars to celebrate his 80th ...
    What a gathering of Sondheim stars to celebrate his 80th birthday. Anyone who didn't know Elaine Stritch should watch her sing "I'm Still Here" and her reaction as Patti... Read more
    Published 8 days ago by Tillie
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great production; great line-up of performers.
    Published 10 days ago by Sue Geary
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great music.
    Published 1 month ago by bayou ben
    4.0 out of 5 stars Sondheim: The Broadway Concert
    Love Stephen Sondheim. This tribute, which I originally saw on my local PBS station; was fabulous. However, I mistakenly thought I was purchasing a CD, not the DVD. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Gail Wolfberg
    5.0 out of 5 stars One great performance after another
    If you like Sondheim's songs, this is for you. Also not to be missed: Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall (2006)
    Published 2 months ago by Bill Taylor
    5.0 out of 5 stars Out of this world!
    The concert is perfection. The stars, the music selections, the voices. It's a beautiful tribute to a most gifted composer. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Bettyboy72
    5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful performances by all
    All of Sondheim's best show tunes in recent years with fantastic performances by Elaine Stritch and others. Bernadette Peters is outstanding.
    Published 3 months ago by Phyllis W.Zeno
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous concert
    This is a wonderful review of Sondheim's career and music. A not to be missed concert. Two hours of riveting joy and excitement.
    Published 5 months ago by Linda Aarons
    4.0 out of 5 stars stevie Explains His Brilliance
    Part nostalgia, part history lesson, part master class, part concert ... with a helping of ego and some self-importance. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Jeff
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