Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
I resisted purchasing State Fair, to complete my video collection of R&H musicals, but my kids wanted it after seeing it promoted in the intro to the other R&H videos. I always was curious about it, but winning it on eBay for a low cost made it worth the look. I was pleasantly surprised because it wasn't as awful as I had been led to believe. But it is easy to see why it didn't make it reconstituted as a Broadway show. Much of the charm comes from the goings-on at the state fair, and that is impossible to re-create within the confines of a stage. With a couple of well-known exceptions, the score is weak, but even without the music the show would be simple mindless fun. Still, "State Fair' is a must for R&H lovers.
The strongest component of Kismet, at least on stage, was the music based
works of Alexandr Borodin. Unfortunately, much of that lovely lush score
has been decimated, and what's left is a fairly entertaining story. But
this is supposed to be a musical, and there is plenty of music but it just
doesn't have the impressive feel of the stage version.
Maybe someday someone will re-film this musical as a movie and do it right!
I loved this production of "Gypsy" so much that when my audiocassette of the Ethel Merman production got ruined I replaced it with a CD of the Midler "Gypsy." Bette Midler has the fire to do justice to this demanding role, and her supporting cast seemed agreeable to let her shine. But the highlight of the film for me was "You Gotta Have a Gimmick." The three strip women as a group are a comic delight.
Watching the mini-series "Holocaust" on video, one realizes that its length (8 hours) was more a function of having enough to fill a few nights. It would have been an outstanding 3-hour movie a la Schindler's List. Yet, the slow development allowed to witness incremental changes in the characters and their situations, so as the film proceeds, one can sympathize more with the characters because we know them better after having spent so much time with them. Focusing on the German family in contrast to the Jewish one was a good idea, but having said all the above, I found it difficult to like any of the characters. Performances were adequate, but none impressed me as being outstanding
Playing for Time deserved theatrical release, but as TV fare, perhaps among the finest, ranking up there with The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Being a Jew, I received a lot of flak for applauding Vanessa Redgrave's magnificent performance, but one needs to separate the art from the politics. While physically Ms. Redgrave does not at all resemble the real Fanelon, one can't help feeling that she captured the role. My only criticism is the newswreel type footage used to depict the moving trains. First rate movie