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ALICE AT THE PALACE and the Broadway Theatre Archive

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Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/9/04
I recently found the Broadway Theatre Archive's tape of ALICE AT THE PALACE at a local library.
Meryl Streep. Joseph Papp. Elizabeth Swados. Mark Linn-Baker. Michael Jeter. Debbie Allen. Graciela Danielle...
OMG...What. Were. They. Smoking???? The image of Streep carrying--literally carrying--Michael Jeter like a baby is not one I'll soon forget. This was actually broadcast on prime time NBC??? Weeeeird!

Still, the Broadway Theatre Archive is a helluva great thing. I also saw JUNE MOON with a very young Susan Sarandon and Stephen Sondheim from the early '70's that was pretty good. And I also found PARADISE LOST with a very young Bernadette Peters and the late, great Cliff Gorman. Anxious to watch that.

Anybody else see anything from the BTA series? What a pity PBS and other stations don't do things like this anymore.
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. ~ Muhammad Ali
Broadway Legend
joined:12/31/69
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/31/69
Borstalboy, I have three words for you: Kevin Kline's Hamlet.

Yum.
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Craig
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/20/03
Alice at the Palace is incredible and one of my favorites. It's worth watching just for Mark-Lynn's scene with the horse alone.
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka
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Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/9/04
Anyone see the BTA version of "Working"?
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. ~ Muhammad Ali
MusicMan
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/16/03

The Kline Hamlet doesn't work. But check out Eccentricities of a Nightingale, The Taming of the Shrew, The Skin of Our Teeth, A Moon for the Misbegotten (Robard's performance is one of the greatest I have ever seen), The Iceman Cometh (ditto), All Over, The Fifth of July, and The Glass Menagerie (with Hepburn and Cyrano de Bergerac---all magnificent. I have the Working on order but haven't seen it since its PBS airing. I don't remember being impressed.
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n69n
Broadway Legend
joined:4/30/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/30/06
i recently got the dvd of ALICE AT THE PALACE & i cant stop watching it, i love it so much!

i'm gonna have to rip the audio for it, because i want to walk/dance to the song STARTING OUT AGAIN everywhere i go!

i knew Meryl could sing, but its WILD to see her so *physical*! she's kicking, she's leaping, she's spinning...she doesnt hold back at all!

& i am totally crushed out on Michael Jeter, he was soooo cute!

& i love how sassy Deborah Rush is!
i want to make thngs that count
- George, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/29/05
I have the BTA "Working." I bought it because I did the show years ago.

It's not bad, but it's not exactly the Broadway show either. They tried to take the theatricality out of it by taking it off the stage. Each vignette is filmed on "location" (okay, a fake set that looks more like a sitcom location set). So the housewife goes to a grocery store and then her home, the mill-worker is working in a mill, etc.

The cast is fantastic, nearly "all star" with some rare performances... like James Taylor, who wrote a few songs for the show, actually playing the truck driver (the part I played). But it has Barry Bostwick, Rita Moreno, Patti LaBelle, Charles Durning, Barbara Hershey (in Patti LuPone's part), Beth Howland, Eileen Brennan, Jennifer Warnes, Charles Haig, Scatman Crothers, Barbara Barry, and many others. It's worth seeing, as long as you realize that by putting each of the vignettes in these locations, they're all kinda disjointed and isolated. There's no kinetic energy between them. So the overall "show" has a calm, reflective feel.

I also have the BTA DVD of "The Pirates of Penzance," which was video taped back when the show was in Central Park, before it moved to Broadway... and before they replaced Patricia Routledge (aka Hyacinth Bucket) with Estelle Parsons. The quality is pretty terrible. It actually looks like a bootleg! But the cast is great.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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mattonstage
Broadway Star
joined:12/30/06
Broadway Star
joined:
12/30/06
I love BTA!! I own Working, and The Skin of our Teeth ( a great production with Blair Brown, Howard Gould and Sada Thompson). I also have two short pieces they put out from a Great Performances anniversary special. The first piece is Kiss, Kiss, Dahlings by Wendy Wasserstein, with Cynthia Nixon, Blythe Danner and Nancy Marchand as three generations of actresses in three different eras, which is delightful, and The Last Kiss with Bernadette Peters, Paul Sorvino, Nathan Lane and Tony Goldwyn. It's by Terrence McNally and is about an Opera Singer making her debut at the Met. Very touching. I believe if you find the Kultur Video website, you can see their whole line. They also carry Uncommon Women and Others and one called Secret Service, both with Meryl Streep.
I killed the boss, you don't think they're gonna fire me over a thing like that!!!!
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Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/9/04
Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT miss ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE with Blythe Danner and Frank Langella. It's nothing short of superb.
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. ~ Muhammad Ali
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/20/03
Pirates of Penzance is worth getting. Even though the video is not excellent quality (it was filmed live in the early 80s in Central Park) it's worth it to see Patricia (pre-Hyacinth Bucket) Routledge singing the part of Ruth, the nursemaid.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/12/03
ALICE AT THE PALACE is AMAZING!!!
"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."
--Aristotle
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Suspended
joined:9/16/07
Suspended
joined:
9/16/07
I second the love for the BTA Skin of Our Teeth.
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doodlenyc
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/5/04
Love Alice at the Palace!
I also love Uncommon Women... and Fifth of July.
Working is a fave show of mine, and I wish they had used the original cast and filmed the stage show, but it's still worth having, imo. Standouts for me are Eileen Brennan, Rita Moreno (she and Lenora Nemitz of the original cast sound just alike!) and Patti LaBelle.
Eileen Brennan makes me cry every time I watch her.
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