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Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 13 reviews
VINE VOICEon February 19, 2013
In television's early days, it was very urban/New York oriented (that was where the sets were!).

So it was not surprising that many of the "biggest" shows were NOT Movie oriented, but Broadway Show oriented.

For several years Max Liebman produced "Your Show of Shows" which, despite legend, was much more than just "Sid Caesar"! (Look it up. It was a full scale Broadway Review... Every week... written by half a dozen guys (of both sexes) with names like Reiner, Brooks, Simon, Diamond, etc.)

When that show ended, Liebman filled the slot with "Tab Shows" (abridged versions of Broadway & other musicals) like "Lady in the Dark", "The Yeoman of the Guards", "Desert Song", etc. and "original" musicals that played like EXACTLY what they were; Very good rip-offs of current/past Broadway hits.

"Satin & Spurs" was "Annie Get Your Gun" and "The Adventures of Marco Polo" (to give it's full title) was "Kismet".

Sure "Kismet" was "Arabian Nights" and this was China, but it had the same stars, and, where "Kismet' adapted music by Alexander Borodin, composer Clay Warnick here adapted Rimsky-Korsakov... quite nicely, actually.

The "book" has Polo traveling.... as he was wont to do.

That's the "plot"

But it has Alfred Drake, arguably the best musical performer EVER on Broadway.

And it has Doretta Morrow, who had the purest voice you'll ever hear outside of Barbara Cook

And it's got a great score

What on earth MORE do you want?!
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on January 17, 2017
If you are someone who enjoys musical theatre, I would heartily recommend this DVD to you. There are so many aspects of this musical that make it a worthwhile addition to any collection. It followed closely on the success of "Kismet" and uses the themes of Rimsky-Korsakov as the foundation for the songs. It never appeared on the broadway stages as it was specifically written as a television production. Unfrotunately, the production was in a black and white era and much of the sparkle of the production is missing with the absence of color, especially since, in this age of "colorization," it would have been easy to add the extra sparkle.

It is fun and I am delighted with my copy . . .
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on March 22, 2013
Alfred Drake in his prime was Broadway's most versatile leading man: major musicals, plays, reviews and Shakespeare. This production, filmed live, is frequently cumbersome and dated. Drake, however, is sublime. An excellent performance by one of the great actors of his time.
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on February 4, 2014
I saw this live back in the 50's, yes, the 1950's. In glorious black & white after I had seen "Kismet", with Drake & Morrow at the Ziegfield Theatre, the real one not the movie theatre. I went on to see that show many more times as I fell in love with it and the stars. This was an opportunity to do a Kismet type show for the "masses", and they didn't disappoint. Drake was doing Hajj and Morrow was a combination of Marsinah and Lalume . Bea Kraft even did dances that "resembled" Jack Cole's brilliant work for "Kismet" Shone on a Saturday night in winter, it brought the Arabian Nights to LIVE TV. Thank you for whoever was behind this release.
Who knew then that about 8 or 9 years later I would stage manage a summer stock tour of "Kismet" for Lee Guber's theatre's in the round with Howard Keel.
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on December 2, 2016
Two great voices singing songs with outstanding melodies and lyrics. You have to make allowances for the fact this was televised live back in 1958. Made for television in its infancy and tailored around commercials. Nevertheless, the music is magical.
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on June 21, 2014
Once again my hat is off to the folks at VAI for making available yet another of the fabulous 1950's television spectaculars. This time it is an original made for television based upon the exploits of Marco Polo. Utilizing the talents of Alfred Drake and Doretta Morrow (who had starred together on Broadway in "Kismet" three years earlier, this is a surprisingly entertaining and ambitious production. Originally broadcast over NBC in "compatible color" unfortunately only a B&W kinescope survives. Even so, this record of the production serves to remind us how ambitious television networks were in their early years, and how they made sincere efforts to bring Broadway-style entertainment into the average American home. Would that this were still true!
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on June 22, 2013
My guess is that if one is an major Alfred Drake fan one might find this program exciting considering how little of Alfred Drake's performances were recorded. However, I found the plot weak, the lyrics perfunctory and the choreography insipid. Remember that this was genuine "live" TV -- as close to theater as TV ever became. The quality of the images are excellent, particularly when the source is considered. The sound track is clear. My conclusion is that my wife and I watched the entire program, but it is unlikely we will ever watch it again. In contrast, a TV performance from the same period is Mary Martin's Peter Pan -- vibrant, exciting and one we watch at least once a year.
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on January 25, 2013
Alfred Drake, what a great performer. I'm so glad this rare performance has been preserved for posterity. Not a bad print considering its age and the fact it is a kinescope. In any condition, this is a great find.
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on May 22, 2013
Quit different from the other productions that are based on Broadway plays, but Alfred Drake is wonderful. Recommended to you. Doug
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on February 8, 2015
I have known all these songs since I was a child and we owned the album. So wonderful to finally see the movie!!! Love! Great service, too
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