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Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together: A Musical Review


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Product Details

  • Actors: Carol Burnett, George Hearn, Ruthie Henshall, John Barrowman, Bronson Pinchot
  • Directors: Don Roy King, Eric D. Schaeffer
  • Producers: Bruce Brandwen, Cameron Mackintosh, David Caddick, Martin McCallum, Nicholas van Hoogstraten
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000IOM0S8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,435 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together: A Musical Review" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

A humorous, poignant and sophisticated musical "review," Putting It Together is a thematic celebration of the stage and screen work of multiple Tony Award-winner Stephen Sondheim, the foremost theatrical composer/lyricist of our time. Featuring an award-winning ensemble cast headed by the incomparable Carol Burnett, Putting It Together weaves a lyrical story around the emotions and relationships of five guests attending a Manhattan cocktail party, studded with material from a number of Sondheim's original musicals and films including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Dick Tracy, Into the Woods and Assassins.

Customer Reviews

John Barrowman and Carol Burnett are in great form!
Joseph Curran Jr.
Each performer has their own separate strengths which make this very watchable.
Lindy Lu
I thought that was a clever, Considering they are only using Sondheim songs!!!
BobbyZup

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. Grimstrup on March 8, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having watched this DVD only once all i can say is it has lived up to the expectations i was expecting .The tour de force of Sondheims music is fun and the numbers are well executed. The highlight for me was Carol Burnett and the hilarious performance of "Everyone needs a Maid" Only Carol could perform this number with a touch of mad humour.

I do recommend this dvd and I look forward to veiwing the disc again on a cold wet night with a bottle of wine and a good fire going in the wood burner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ac on February 16, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I know what you might be thinking: "ANOTHER Sondheim revue/concert/performance?" There are only so many "fresh" and "new" versions of "Send in the Clowns" and "Being Alive" a person can take, even if you have stars like Bernadette Peters singing them...

Don't write this production off though. First, it does have a skeleton of a plot (although Pinchot himself admits in the opening number that "there's not an awful lot") which gives some structure to the show and lends to the emotion of several pieces. Carol Burnett and George Hearn play the rich, older couple and Ruthie Henshall and John Barrowman play the younger couple, with Bronson Pinchot acting as narrator/butler/any additional character who is needed. The plot involves the older couple finding themselves falling out of love with each other and the younger couple in the midst of falling in love with each other. All perform admirably, although for me Carol Burnett was the standout. Her performance is alternately devestating, cuttingly sarcastic, and hilariously hysterical.

Thankfully, the production also avoids trying to include all of Sondheim's "hits." Although you will find a version of "Being Alive" (as a quintet!) and "Getting Married Today" (done only as Carol Burnett can do it), you will also find several of Sondheim's more obscure songs (at least for me). Songs such as "Bang!" and "Unworthy of Your Love" are perhaps less well-known, but brilliant all the same, especially as performed by Ruthie Henshall and John Barrowman. It was also interesting for me to see how each one of Sondheim's songs is taken out of the context of its original show and worked into a brand new setting. A song like "Hello Little Girl" takes on an entirely different meaning when sung by an old man as opposed to an actual wolf...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James Morris on January 9, 2007
Format: DVD
Musical revues can be quite tricky. When a show celebrates the talents of a particular composer, having the material performed out of context is usually not a problem for the works of lesser composers. But in the case of Stephen Sondheim, it is very hard to appreciate the full force of his amazingly deft and intelligent lyrics (not to mention his subtle melodies) when the individual pieces are removed from the show for which they were written. I have seen, or at least heard, many, many musical revues of Mr. Sondheim's works. Sometimes they succeed brilliantly, but because of the high caliber of the material and intellectual connection with the source work, the producer and director of any musical revue of Sondheim must be very cautious. For these reasons, among others, I did not find this production of Putting It Together to be as completely satisfying as it should have been. And, as a Sondheim "purist", the first strike against this production was the fact that some of the lyrics were changed, which is always guaranteed to get me off on the wrong foot, at least, when dealing with Sondheim.

It has long been my considered opinion that, artistically, Mr. Sondheim can do no wrong. At his worst (if such a word could ever be applied to his output) he writes circles around every other Broadway composer of the 20th century. But, out of context, his material does not always come across, particularly his later works, which almost always require the accompaniment of the various subtle melodies that he intricately weaves throughout the course of any one show. Combining material from more than one Sondheim effort is risky, as his "voice" is never the same in any two successive theatre pieces, let alone five or ten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John F. Rooney VINE VOICE on October 9, 2010
Format: DVD
"Putting it Together" (2002) is a very entertaining, fast-moving musical review with five talented performers, innovative staging and, of course, the great music of Stephen Sondheim. Carol Burnett proves again her talents as a gifted singer who can belt them out like Ethel Merman and is a hilarious clown. George Hearn's voice is outstanding, and the chemistry and the character by-play that he and Burnett develop is an extraordinary achievement.
Bronson Pinchot adds his comic talents to the proceedings and throughout introduces one-word themes to the show like "Revenge", "Competition", "Seduction", etcetera, which gives the show a plot line. Rounding out the five are Ruthie Henshall and John Barrowman who play the good-looking romantic team.
The music at the beginning seems unfamiliar, and the way the Sondheim songs are seamlessly integrated is another fine achievement. Sondheim wrote a few movie scores such as one for "Dick Tracy". In this review there are 35 musical selections.
It was taped before a live audience in the Biltmore Theater in New York. You're going to recognize the music from various Sondheim shows, but here they're given a new twist. The title "Putting It Together" is taken from "Sunday in the Park with George". As far as I can tell there is no CD of this particular review, although there is a CD for the 1993 version of the show starring Julie Andrews.
The show demonstrates the amazing versatility of Sondheim and the way he dabbled in various modes. The lyrics to the songs show the brilliance, the wit, and the creativity of the composer/lyricist.
Burnett does a fine version of "Here's to the Ladies Who Lunch". At the end the ensemble does a great job with "Being Alive" and "Old Friends".
There's some extra material on this DVD which is very good.
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