Here's An Entire Video of The Original PACIFIC OVERTURES On Broadway

Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
I see that someone uploaded this on Youtube. Usually I'd be against something like this being uploaded, but this isn't a bootleg and has been in circulation so long with traders etc. that there's no reason not to post it here. Plus it's something that really should just be put on DVD and sold. But anyways....

tazber Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I love this video. I have never heard "There Is No Other Way" sung so beautifully.

They don't even sound that good on the OBCR
....but the world goes 'round
JBroadway Profile Photo
Broadway Star
Wow thank you so much for posting this! So excited to watch it!
my TodayTix discount code: UDMDW
GavestonPS Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Yes, indeed! Thank you so much! I saw the off-Broadway revival, but wasn't in New York at the time of the original production.
morosco Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Wow I love what they do with the screens at the beginning.
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
I hate when these things are filmed and then shelved for 40 years.

Does anyone know why this was never officially released?
BrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Like a handful of other Broadway musicals (42ND STREET, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, VICTOR/VICTORIA), this was filmed for Japanese television therefore it WAS indeed officially released -- just not in the United States. Copyright laws are different in each country so Japanese audiences were able to watch this on television, whereas we couldn't here in the United States.

So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
best12bars Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I've seen bits and pieces of this before, but never with this quality. It looks and sounds great (by comparison to the copies of copies of copies floating around).

Thanks so much for sharing! I really do love the colors and costumes, and of course the show and cast. Noticing details I never did before.

Great stuff.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
devonian.t Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Yes, my copy is much fuzzier. This is gorgeous.

DVD. Now!
themysteriousgrowl Profile Photo
Broadway Legend

Back in 2001, I bought a VHS copy of this on eBay, which was a website where people bought and sold things on the Internet, for $80.

Do you have any idea how much $80 was in 2001?
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
That's like 3 gallons of gas in 2013 dollars.
jimmycurry01 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
This is pretty much the same quality as the DVD I have. It is a great video of a cool show. A commercial release would be amazing.
kdogg36 Profile Photo
Leading Actor
Thank you for sharing this! Going to watch it on my Wii.
IronMan Profile Photo
I went to a screening of this at the Museum of TV several years ago- it was beautifully filmed, as I recall. Thanks for the heads-up on this!
"What- and quit show business?" - the guy shoveling elephant shit at the circus.
Idiot Profile Photo
Broadway Star
This is blowing my mind. I saw this when I was a kid -- must've been about 10 years old, and I only have vague memories of it. I can't wait to see the whole thing again. What a thrill.
logan2 Profile Photo
Leading Actor
Here's the Will Rogers Follies. It's split up into clips but still very exciting. Now could someone find us the 42nd Street video? That would be great.

Will Rogers Follies part 1
Updated On: 9/8/13 at 05:00 AM
PalJoey Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Wow, thanks. I had forgotten how brilliant this was. And how much I HATED it the first time I saw it in previews. Hated it so much it made me angry.

How could the team that had given me the most exciting and formative events of my teenage years--Company/Follies/Night Music--how could they have done something so cold, so mechanical, so unfeeling, so cerebral, so uninvolving?

How could they have proved everything their naysayers had been saying to be absolutely true and correct?

My heart was broken and I was angry. They were on their on their own from then on. I was no longer their defender. They would have to defend themselves.

Now I watch it and I see how wrong I was. But I didn't see that then. I was too disappointed.
MarkBearSF Profile Photo
A friend posted the link on facebook last week and I saw it late one night. I played it again the next night for my husband. Not surprisingly, I've not been able to get it out of my head. (...not that that's a bad thing).

I was thinking of the times. 1976 was obviously the bicentennial (which was referenced in a line in "Next"). However I was thinking of a couple of other aspects.
(1) "Shogun" was the book of the year, so things from that era were on peoples' minds.
(2) "Detente" was a term that everyone would have known then but less so now. (Since I'm 57, of course I knew it, but then realized it was very much a 70s concept.)

I'm so happy I've been able to see that staging with the original cast.
Here's a link Wayman Wong posted on the other board to an issue of the Sondheim Review that features a (free) interview of Mako and other cast members,

Interview with original cast members
Updated On: 9/8/13 at 11:06 AM
Kad Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
This really was a ballsy production, in any era. No commercial producer would ever give money to this today.

A musical done in the style of kabuki, with a cast entirely comprised of actors of Asian descent, about how the West opened Japan?
kdogg36 Profile Photo
Leading Actor

Though I was a little young to see the original productions of these shows, I had the same feeling when I first heard Pacific Overtures on CD when I was in college. It seemed like there was nothing interesting there at all. Looking back, I can't figure out how I could have felt that way. "There Is No Other Way" and "Pretty Lady" are intensely beautiful songs, and "Chrysanthemum Tea" is in a class by itself.
CurtainsUpat8 Profile Photo
Featured Actor
I remember seeing this from the box seat at The Wintergarden. I still have my ticket stub... $9.00! I also remember looking down and seeing half the audience had left at intermission. It is still thrilling. I love the Jonathan Tunick orchestrations and the entire orchestra itself. Thanks for posting. I can't wait to watch it again.
best12bars Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I'm watching this now, streaming it from YouTube onto my TV. I don't think I've ever seen the entire show before (because the picture quality was so bad, I couldn't stay with it).

So, first of all, thank you, Jordy, for drawing our attention to this!

I have to say, I was very taken by one of the ensemble performers, who just happens to be tall, dark, and incredibly handsome ... and also has a wonderful deep baritone voice with a nice high range. In addition to that, he really stands out with his acting, adding very nice comedic touches occasionally.

He was the Warrior (under the treaty house) in "Someone In a Tree." He is also the Russian in "Please, Hello!" (hilarious), and he is one of the three sailors who sing "Pretty Lady," among many other roles in this show.

His name is Mark Hsu Syers.

His 1976 headshot:

I decided to search for him on the Interwebs to find out more about him. I found out two "stunning" things, at least to me. One very cool, and one very sad.

Three years after Pacific Overtures, Mark dropped the "Hsu" from his name (going by Mark Syers) and created the role of Migaldi in the OBC of "Evita" with Patti LuPone. I didn't even recognize his name, nor did it occur to me that they had cast an Asian-American actor to play a Latin nightclub singer. Of course, Hal Prince directed both shows, so he was obviously thinking outside the box. I truly applaud him for that.

Mark was all of 24 years old in Pacific Overtures, and 27 when he played Migaldi.

Follow the link to see Mark in Evita:

Then I kept searching, only to discover that Mark had suddenly died in a car accident at the age of 30. Such a bright career of a very talented, very handsome man, cut short by a sudden tragedy.

Anyway, watching this Pacific Overtures video, I was happy to "discover" Mark, knowing nothing about him at all. Other than he stood out as talented and beautiful in a very talented and varied cast.

NY Times link
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Hi, all!

I'm the creator of that YouTube channel and am the one who uploaded the video. I'm so glad that people are enjoying it, as it's my favorite musical and it's seriously heartwarming to see it get the recognition it deserves.

I first discovered Pacific Overtures when I was a young, Sondheim-obsessed high-school lad in his Junior year. In my AP English class we were assigned a big "author's study" project, in which we were to pick an American author and a major work of theirs and study it and write a big essay over the course of the year. Through luck and determination I managed to present the case that Sondheim qualified as a great American author and convinced my teacher to let me do one of his musicals for my project. My initial choice of Follies (my then-favorite musical) was turned down because we were supposed to pick something we hadn't read. So my thoughts then turned to one of the few shows I hadn't yet experienced- Pacific Overtures.

So through the course of the year I read the script, listened to the cast album, and thoroughly analyzed and studied the show in every which way imaginable. I had meanwhile been in correspondence with a fellow YouTuber who had been trading various audios/videos with me for a while- as it happened, he had the complete Japanese broadcast and sent it my way. It was with this video I truly fell in love with the show- the staging, the sheer artistry and poetry of the piece...every single aspect led to it slowly becoming my absolute favorite musical.

Cut to a while later and I'm rewatching clips on YouTube and remarking on how sad it is that people's best clips of this show are mostly watered-down, near black-and-white copies, lacking the full and vibrant color that characterizes the show. I decided to upload a clip of "Someone in a Tree", and began prepping for a full upload of the show (I had already done this with the 1990 ALNM, which at the time of uploading was new to YouTube).

In the meantime the family computers were being reformatted, which required all important files to be moved off while the data was erased. After this was completed I started moving files back when I noticed something odd.

Pacific Overtures was missing.

I searched absolutely everywhere for a recording, but it was nowhere to be found. I had made only a couple physical copies but they had been lent to friends that I had since lost track of. And worst of all, the original file was one of the many that got lost when Megaupload went down, so I couldn't even re-download it. It was, essentially, lost to the ages.

I searched for years for it and it was only after some diligent searching and intense wheedling that I managed to finally locate a copy in the ethers of the internet. Not wanting a repeat of the last time, I readied it for an upload (luckily it wouldn't have to be split in 10-minute increments this time), though that first required re-jigging the audio- the original vid had all the audio panned to I think the right, so I went in and essentially made it stereo. Much better to listen to. It was through sheer luck I got the video in the first place and then cost me an arm and a leg to get it a second time, so I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see it this time.

So anyways, apologies for this wall of a post- I just wanted to share some of my history with the show and my reasons for uploading this. I'm very glad you all are enjoying it and hope you continue to do so. Great art like this deserves to be shared. :)

- Flynn, The Sondheim Fan
devonian.t Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Pal Joey and kdogg this is how I felt fist time I put on the LP of Sunday in the Park- I was baffled and dismayed because I feared Sondheim had let himself down.

Of course, I quickly realized the error of my way and by the time I actually saw the show, was ready for tears to pour down my face!

Incidentally, this is the kind of thread amongst the dross that makes this board still worthwhile- so many great stories.
CapnHook Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
This thread reminds me of why I sought out an online theater community in the first place. To share passions, opinions, history, and knowledge...and then discuss them.

Thank you, Jordan, for sharing this. Thank you, Flynn 2, for uploading this. I have now discovered a new musical (a Sondheim one, at that!) and have more insight on its place in Broadway and musical theatre history.

I now only need to see two more shows and I will then have seen the entire Sondheim catalog.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
Hest882 Profile Photo
Broadway Star