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Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall / Liza Minnelli, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Glenn Close

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This program features the music of Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim in a 1992 performance at Carnegie Hall. An American Musical Theatre writer for over 40 years, Stephen Sondheim has created the scores for hits such as Passion, Assassins, Bounce, Into The Woods, Sunday In The Park With George, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd and Pacific Overtures. Featuring: Liza Minnelli, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Glenn Close and many more.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Gemignani, American Theater Orchestra, Jerry Hadley, Eugene Perry, Herbert Perry
  • Directors: Kirk Browning
  • Writers: David Thompson
  • Producers: David Horn, Jac Venza, John Walker, Judith Arron, Ken Marsolais
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JGWD32
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,171 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall / Liza Minnelli, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Glenn Close" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
On June 10, 1992, I had the good fortune to be in the audience for "Sondheim - A Celebration At Carnegie Hall." As someone who has seen the original Broadway casts of every Sondheim show since (and including) "Company," I can only say that this was a THRILLING concert. And though some numbers have been omitted, this DVD captures the excitement of that memorable evening.
Bill Irwin's hilarious opening monologue apologized for Angela Lansbury not being on hand to host the celebration. This of course alluded to Ms. Lansbury's great success presiding over the Tony Award telecasts, and how she'd become everyone's first choice to host ALL theatrical events. The audience got the joke and thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Irwin's routine. From all indications even Ms. Lansbury was amused; she happily narrated the "Anyone Can Whistle" concert at Carnegie Hall three years later.
Madeline Kahn delighted the crowd with her rendition of "Getting Married Today" and, based on the strength of her performance that night, was also invited to participate in the "Anyone Can Whistle" concert.
Other rousing highlights included (and this is just a partial list) Liza Minnelli's "Back In Business," Dorothy Loudon's "Losing My Mind"/"You Could Drive A Person Crazy," Patti LuPone's "Being Alive," Karen Ziemba & Bill Irwin's "Sooner Or Later," Patrick Cassidy & Victor Garber's "Ballad Of Booth," Bernadette Peters' "Not A Day Goes By," Harolyn Blackwell's "Green Finch & Linnet Bird," the New York City Opera's "Weekend In The Country," and Glenn Close's "Send In The Clowns.
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Format: VHS Tape
The video shows an all-star cast performing Sondheim's songs. Special attention is required all the time because of the high quality of the interpreters but I have to choose my favorites : Liza Minelli is superb, Glenn Close is fantastic in "Send in the Clows" and you will simply adore the girl that sings "Broadway Baby"! Have lots of fun and enjoy the diversity of the work of this composer. Must have it.
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Format: VHS Tape
I am a huge Sondheim fan, but I am disappointed that some of the performances that made the CD recording did not make it to the videotape. For example, the medley of "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs - Love, I Hear - Live Alone and Like It" would have been enjoyable to watch, as was the "Remember" piece from "A Little Night Music." It makes an uneducated viewer wonder why these people join everyone in singing the end to "A Weekend in the Country." The order in which they present the songs is a little perplexing. This videotape would work much better if they maintained the integrity of the production by presenting everything in the manner in which it was performed.
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Format: DVD
I only give this DVD 4 stars (instead of the 5 I would normally give anything Sondheim) because I was gravely disappointed that they included only about half the show!!! I have had the CD of A Celebration at Carnegie Hall (which was taped live from the show, including audience reactions) for YEARS, listening and wishing I could see what the audience saw as well as being able to hear. When I discovered it was finally out on DVD, I was overjoyed. Next thing I know I got it for my birthday! What the DVD showed was great, but boy was it a let down that it didn't have everything in the show. If they can put all the songs in the CD version, surely they could have put the complete show of Sondheim-A Celebration at Carnegie Hall out for us.
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Format: DVD
If you have this soundtrack, or have seen the program on PBS - it's fantastic, but be warned that this DVD does not tell you it's about HALF of the concert as represented in the soundtrack and on TV. What there is - is fabulous - but I was VERY disapointed that this DVD did not represent itself accurately. It should be clearly marked "Selections from..." or something like that, otherwise, it'd decieving. So if you're expecting some of your favorite songs - don't buy it.
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Format: DVD
One of the greatest joys of Sondheim is how he can be reinterpreted and still pack the same punch. deangold's review only proves that he not only doesn't grasp Sondheim's true artistry, but he's severely lacking in understanding theatre. Hint: that 'humorless piece of a stage hand reading lines that were written for Angela Lansbury' is the irrepresible comic genius Bill Irwin doing a deliberate send up - deangold apparently missed it when Irwin shows up later in the show as the silent hysterical foil to Karen Ziemba for a show-stopping version of "Sooner or Later".

Some songs are performed as originally conceived ("Ballad of Booth") while others are teased (Dorothy Loudon turns the sentimental "Losing My Mind into a comic tour de force by combining it with "You Could Drive a Person Crazy - and damn if it doesn't work!) and others are outright revamped (the Tonics' jazz up the usually quiet ballad "Good Thing Going" with "Company" snuck in the middle). This is theatrical cabaret at its very best, with top performers putting a unique spin on great songs.

If you're positively married to the Original Broadway Soundtracks, you may get a shock from some of these versions. But anyone who can appreciate artistry will thoroughly enjoy the uniqueness of this production which leaves you breathless time and again. Glenn Close singing "Send in the Clowns" proves WHY this song has been redone by every hack on 8th Avenue, Liza Minnelli and Billy Stritch put a little oomph in Back in Business that Madonna sorely lacked, and Bernadette Peters' rendition of "Not a Day Goes By" shows exactly why this petite woman is a Broadway powerhouse.

And they're all doing it to the magic of Sondheim. This is not to be missed.

(Do wish they hadn't cut those extra songs though... darn it.)
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