HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. SONDHEIM: BWW Reviews the DVD of EVENING PRIMROSEIs Stephen Sondheim's birthday over yet ????

The truth of the matter is ... "We hope not." It's been an amazing year of tributes, appearances, honors, galas, productions, concerts, interviews, discussions, a theatre named after him and on and on and on .... Including even an appearance on Comedy Central with Stephen Colbert.

But, as Jerry Herman would say, "It's Today!"

Yes , it's Stephen Sondheim's birthday at last. It's also Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's birthday, but I digress.

This past weekend I decided to watch the historic ABC STAGE 67 broadcast of the Stephen Sondheim made-for-TV musical, which is now available on DVD and a bargain if you (click here) on amazon.com.

This is a "must-have" for fans of the work of the man and for anyone interested in the history of television.

Handsomely packaged, with a very generous information-packed booklet with photos, lyrics and plenty more, including some insights from Sondheim, himself, about this unique, odd, yet magical piece created specifically for the small screen.

Evening Primrose was written by James Goldman (FOLLIES), based on a short story by John Collier and was directed by Paul Bogart. Interestingly, the Executive Producer was none other than John Houseman .... so interesting. This is a lot of pedigree involved in one project.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. SONDHEIM: BWW Reviews the DVD of EVENING PRIMROSEIt's an utterly beguiling experience to watch this and I recommend doing so, without interruption. It really casts a spell and is almost part TWILIGHT ZONE.

The cast is uniformly excellent, led by Charmian Carr, Dorothy Stickney, Larry Gates and a quite unusual and extraordinary Anthony Perkins. In a strange way, this was way ahead of its time and must be seen.

The song titles you will recognize are "I Remember" and "Take Me to the World" ... and totally hypnotic they are here, in this original context. You also hear "flashes" of things to come in Sondheim's future compositions .... Just fascinating.

I was totally captivated by this piece and thrilled with the generous Bonus Features, which include an interview with Director Paul Bogart, an audio interview with Charmian Carr and Mr. Bogart's full color test footage with Anthony Perkins (EVENING PRIMROSE was filmed in Black & White).

You can't go wrong with getting this for your collection or as a unique gift for that Sondheim aficionado, who might not even be aware that it is available.

Happy Birthday Mr. Sondheim. Please keep cleaning off the shelves and opening the trunks. We love it!

Trivia: David Shire was credited as "Assistant to the Conductor"

Also, check out other special television events from THE ARCHIVE OF AMERICAN TELEVISION now available on DVD.

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From This Author Naomi Plume

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