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The Stephen Sondheim Collection

DVD | Box Set

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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(Sep 23, 2003)
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$139.99 $39.00

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Celebrate the brilliance of Stephen Sondheim, one of musical theater's most acclaimed and popular talents, with this special collection.

: This star-studded salute to Sondheim's most enduring melodies features Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli, Madeleine Kahn, Victor Garber, Glenn Close, Betty Buckley and many more!

FOLLIES IN CONCERT: The incomparable Stephen Sondheim brought his sensational Follies to the stage in 1971 where it was hailed as "monumental theater" by The New York Times. Fourteen years later, the magic was recreated by an unparalleled gathering of stage and screen luminaries performing with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center for a wildly enthusiastic audience. Includes the memorable songs "Losing My Mind" and "I'm Still Here" and an all-star cast.

INTO THE WOODS: A baker and his wife journey into the woods in search of a cow, a red cape, a pair of golden slippers and some magic beans to lift a curse that has kept them childless. Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason and the rest of the original Broadway cast weave their magic spell over you in Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece, a seamless fusion of fairy tale characters and what happens after "happily ever after."

PASSION: An unforgettable chronicle of the redemptive power of love, this is a mesmerizing musical rhapsody in which a soldier torn between two women discovers the true meaning of love. A haunting study of obsessive love, this striking production offers a visual and musical feast that will linger in your heart and soul forever! Winner of 4 Tony Awards.

SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE: Sondheim and James Lapine construct a dazzling story from one of the world's most famous painting, Georges Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte," creating a moving exploration of art, love and commitment. Winner of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

SWEENEY TODD IN CONCERT: This delicious production, a musical thriller of revenge and romance set in Victorian England, features Broadway diva Patti LuPone as Mrs. Lovett and veteran stage actor George Hearn in the title role. Premiering in 1979, the legendary show went on to win nine New York Drama Critics Circle Awards and eight Tony Awards; recorded with the San Francisco Symphony as conducted by Rob Fisher.

The six-disc Stephen Sondheim DVD Collection is pure Broadway gold, encompassing three original Broadway cast performances and three all-star concerts celebrating the work of musical theater's most important composer over the last half of the 20th century. Into the Woods is Sondheim's most popular show, an amalgam of fractured fairy tales and what happens after "happily ever after." Bernadette Peters heads the cast, joined by Tony winner Joanna Gleason and Chip Zein. Sunday in the Park with George was Sondheim's immediately preceding work, also a collaboration with writer-director James Lapine and also starring Bernadette Peters. She plays Dot, the mistress of brilliant French pointillist painter Georges Seurat (Mandy Patinkin), in a powerful work about the nature of art and the artist that gains substantially when you can see the staging elements. The third Broadway cast performance is Passion, which was shot on stage though not before a live audience. It's a story of obsessive love in which the romance between Giorgio (Jere Shea) and Clara (Marin Mazzie) is disrupted by a strange woman named Signora Fosca (Tony winner Donna Murphy).

Sweeney Todd is generally considered Sondheim's best work, and it's well performed in a concert setting by Patti LuPone and George Hearn (reprising his role as the demonic barber almost 20 years after he played it opposite Angela Lansbury in a 1982 video recording). Follies in Concert was an attempt to right a wrong created by a truncated original cast recording, so it's ironic that roughly half the program is backstage material combined with only 47 minutes of concert footage. There are some brilliant moments, though, from such performers as Barbara Cook, Hearn, Patinkin, and Lee Remick. A Celebration at Carnegie Hall is another all-star cast performance of both Broadway stars and operatic voices peppered with comedy from Bill Irwin. Highlights include the ensemble numbers, Daisy Egan's "Broadway Baby," and Patrick Cassidy and Victor Garber's "The Ballad of Booth," which is about as close as you'll get to an original cast performance of Assassins. All in all, this invaluable set preserves and celebrates an important body of work that may never again be documented this well. --David Horiuchi

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Special features

  • Includes:
  • Into the Woods
  • Sunday in the Park with George, with commentary by composer Stephen Sondheim, writer James Lapine, and actors Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters
  • Follies in Concert
  • Passion, with commentary by Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine, Donna Murphy, Jere Shea, Marin Mazzie, and Ira Weitzman
  • Sweeney Todd in Concert
  • A Celebration at Carnegie Hall

Product details

  • Actors: Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Paul Gemignani, American Theater Orchestra
  • Directors: James Lapine, Kirk Browning, Lonny Price
  • Writers: James Lapine, David Thompson, Ettore Scola, Hugh Wheeler, Iginio Ugo Tarchetti
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2003
  • Run Time: 721 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0000AKY5I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,292 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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