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Musicals: From Stage & Film to Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ethan Riley, Apr 14, 2011.

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  1. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Well-Known Member

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    Oh god--that sounds good!
     
  2. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Well-Known Member

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    I can't figure out why a production with so much star power has become so obscure as to be forgotten. I would agree with you, and venture a guess that it didn't air on primetime--otherwise, many more would remember it. I still recall seeing Once Upon A Mattress in '72--the one and only time I've ever seen it. I certainly didn't watch that Superman (train wreck) special. Would have been past my beddy-bye time. But--there's something to be said for Bad TV on dvd--it's fun!! I don't know if that Li'L Abner special was good or bad, but curiosity's now gotten the better of me and I wanna know what's going on with it. It seems to be controlled by TCM--it's listed on their website.
     
  3. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Well-Known Member

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    It was two hours (link below has it for one hour but all other papers have it in a two hour slot) in prime time, followed on ABC by a Tom Jones special "Movin' Up River," from London with Phil Harris, Mary Travers and some kid named Tina Charles. Or you could've switched to CBS to watch a rerun of "The Carol Burnett Show" with guest star Rita Hayworth. This "Li'l Abner" was from Chris Bearde and Allan Blye who wrote for a lot of shows back then and imdb lists their production company as producers of the show. It had original songs by Earl Brown and Jimmy Dale.
    newspaper mention:
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=KW4tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=C4oFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4373,6081003&dq=li-l-abner&hl=en
     
  4. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    So, it didn't use the original Broadway score but had a new score or was it some of the original score supplemented with new songs by Brown and Dale because if it wasn't the Broadway score, that's likely the reason I didn't watch it.
     
  5. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Well-Known Member

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    Original songs by Dale & Brown only. Show was a unsold pilot, which explains why it was scheduled in the rerun/burn off time of the season. Variety: "Played at full shout by its principals, it resembled a high school play during the first dress rehearsal with a rambling script...(music) serviceable...but nothing could excuse this silly excuse for a network special."
    There was another TV special "L'il Abner in Dogpatch Today" in 1978 with songs by Billy Barnes.
     
  6. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    You guys are the best for ferreting out this information and providing it here. Many thanks for these facts which help explain why at the time I wouldn't have been the least interested in this project.
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    So, the TV thing was no relation to the musical we know.

    I'd still like to see it once, or see how far into it I could get, but certainly not with the urgency normally reserved for alternate performances of a given work.
     
  8. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Well-Known Member

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    According to the Paramount press information the song "Oh Happy Day" was filmed but cut from the release print as was the first version of "Otherwise" written for the film and sung by Abner when Daisy comes to his hotel room in Washington. The reprise in the lab is all that remains. "Unnecessary Town" was also cut (you can see the cut in the film) though it is on the soundtrack album which includes longer versions of the other songs

    The Soundtrack from the film is available from amazon UK as a download from origianl tapes and sounds pretty good
     
  9. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    So the new Company disc is an actual full staging, as opposed to a "concert" staging (or that weird Raul Esparza version)? About time!
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Nope. It's a concert staging...with some costumes (although there really aren't many) and some minor props (IIRC). Kind of like the Les Miserable concert stagings...but the performers are on stage in front of the orchestra.

    EDIT: Oh. And there's several dance routines included.

    EDIT#2: Now I'm second-guessing myself and wondering if I'm mixing this up with the Sondheim birthday party concert that has been released on Blu (in terms of the orchestra being on stage with the performers). Aaaargh. I HATE getting old!
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Okay. A quick search would have saved me all that angst. But here's a good representation of what the Company performance looks like.

    For some reason I cannot embed the video. But HERE'S a link.



    EDIT: Got the embedding to work.
     
  12. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Well-Known Member

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    Although it is a "concert" staging, I loved every minute and felt like there was plenty of staging and set pieces to tell the story. After all, COMPANY does not require a falling chandelier to be effective. Can't wait for this blu-ray!
     
  13. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info Matthew A. The original Technicolor prints had a very unique quality which I hope they have been able to capture... rich subtle color that almost looks like someone applied pastels to the screen. Those prints did circulate for a long time after the initial release. Hope the blu ray will be good... the dvd is awful.
     
  14. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    "The Tony-Award-Winning Musical In Concert."
    Sigh.
    I wonder how the singing is. Most of the cast are not really known for it.
     
  15. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    You will be very surprised at how well the singing is. This is hands down an entertaining and fresh version. I am also going to second that you do not need a falling Chandler as a stage prop. I saw the Roundabout revival with Boyd Gains in the 90's and the stage was pretty bare and it did not distract from the songs, comedy or drama. I think you will be pleased with this.

    I was very pleased when this was announced, for when this played as a special event in movie theatres two years ago, they said it would not be released to the home market. Glad someone changed their mind.
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Travis:

    Company IS often performed with minimalistic staging...so a concert presentation of this is actually quite effective. The celebrity performers are all quite good.

    Go for it!
     
  17. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Good to know. I generally hate when non-singers are used in a musical. (With the strange exception of the Sweeney Todd movie -- go figure!)
    I realize that Company isn't exactly a spectacle -- still, it'd be nice to see a production maybe a step beyond the Esparza version in terms of staging (and with the musicians in the pit instead of on the stage).
    Speaking of spectacle, I recently took my kid to see Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark and we loved it! As a long-time theater aficionado, I feel almost dirty writing that! :) It'd be nice to get that on disc someday, since it's unlikely to ever tour (although they are planning to stage it on the West End and, I think, in Germany).
     
  18. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Are you talkin' to ME?
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Honestly, sometimes I just can't keep track of the different conversations I'm having.

    Sorry, dude. Erm, yes...I was talking to you.
     
  20. MatthewA

    MatthewA Well-Known Member

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