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The golden age of the annual Tony Awards ceremony lasted from 1967 to 1986 -- the period during which Alexander H. Cohen and his wife, Hildy Parks, were the producers of the show. This film offers a compilation of performances from Tony Award broadcasts during those years. They are presented with color-corrected footage and digitally re-mastered sound. Written by
After the release of the video and DVD versions was announced, together with all the musical numbers, contract disputes forced the makers of the program to remove the "Man of La Mancha" and "Dreamgirls" sequences and substitute songs from other musicals in their place. This is why another announcer (instead of Jerry Orbach, the host) can be heard just before these numbers. Richard Kiley can be seen and heard singing "The Impossible Dream" on the Ed Sullivan video, "The Best of Broadway Musicals". See more »
Whoever had the idea of resurrecting Broadway musical footage from the TV companies' vaults and giving it DVD-availability deserves a pat on the back. Unfortunately, the Cohen company, who present this compilation as a tribute to their Father(?), Alexander Cohen, have given us brilliant performances wrapped in shoddy presentation.
I have no axe to grind with Richard Kiley, but he does not appear in the show. Why, then, does he pop up in the montage of excerpts that precedes the excerpts themselves? ( Somebody wasn't paying attention!) If I were the excellent Barbara Erwin (Lily St. Regis in the "Easy Street" routine) I'd want to know why I wasn't named in the "opening night cast" list in the bonus features. (Somebody thought she had the role of Grace Farrell who is named in the cast credits.) And just listen to the commentary preceding the "Easy Street" number. Ask yourself why he did not correctly stress the word "their" before "luck". Because he was merely reading a script, that's why, not trying to make sense of it as he ought to have been doing.
So, should I be offloading this on the "Nitpickers" site? Not at all. My point is that the performances on "Broadways Lost Treasures" are such pure gold that they deserve professional presentation and that they did not get.
I keep returning to Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney in "Sugar Babies" What a treat it would be to have a complete performance of that show on DVD. And the wonderful Dorothy Loudun's Miss Hannigan in "Annie" gets repeat showings on my screen. (What a great pity to hear that Dorothy Loudun died recently. God rest her soul and long may her image and her filmed and audio performances continue to bring her talent to the world). My admiration for Patty Lupone increases each time I see her in a new role .And these are only a few of what were the show's highlights for me. Perhaps I should mention that, before obtaining the DVD, I thought I'd be constantly watching Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon do their "All That Jazz" and "Nowadays" routines from "Chicago". What a disappointment! A severely truncated version of the dance routines is all that is to be seen on this DVD. I myself could have done the choreography for what we see here. Anyone who has seen Karen Ziemba and Bebe Neuwirth dance these numbers in "Broadway-The Leading Ladies" knows how they ought to be performed. I can only assume that the footage of Rivera and Verdon was not all of sufficiently high quality to be included on this DVD.
There is a special reason for being hard on the producers of "Broadway's Lost Treasures". It looks as though there will be another batch of "Treasures" soon and this time, you Cohen guys, let's have P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N. Those guys and gals of the Broadway stage deserve nothing less!
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