Find me a great Broadway video
July 4, 2008 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good live-but-recorded upbeat Broadway performance in the style of MTV's Legally Blonde or the London Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman a few years back? I'm not looking for a Hairspray Movie (though I loved it) but rather recordings of shows performed as shows, not as movies. Thanks!
posted by moof to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
Sondheim's Into the Wood with Bernadette Peters (and Joanna Gleason!) has upbeat numbers, but it's still, you know, Sondheim.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:55 PM on July 4, 2008

seconding into the woods, that dvd is great.
you might also look around for broadway DVDs starring mandy patinkin and patti lupone- those two tend to really give'r.

and there are a TON of great boradway numbers existing as clips on youtube.
for instance, this clip of sutton foster singing show off from the drowsy chaperone.
posted by twistofrhyme at 1:06 PM on July 4, 2008

Seconding YouTube! Look, here's adorable Raul Esparza Defying Gravity.
posted by roger ackroyd at 1:15 PM on July 4, 2008

also, this thread has some suggestions.
posted by twistofrhyme at 1:18 PM on July 4, 2008

I love you guys...but I'm really looking for full shows, not youtube. (That "Show Off" performance remains a fave! Adore it to pieces.)
posted by moof at 1:29 PM on July 4, 2008

Check out The Broadway Archive , you might get some ideas there.
posted by gudrun at 1:55 PM on July 4, 2008

Your best bet to look for things that have been filmed for PBS. The Legally Blonde filming for MTV was an experiment of pushing into new markets, one that I hope paid off and believe did, as it was just announced that Spike Lee will be filming Passing Strange for TV. I can only dream of the day when shows are filmed just as often as they are recorded. Meanwhile, I've listed some shows below that have already been filmed. Mostly old school stuff, but there it is.

Company with Raul Esparza
Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury
Sunday in the Park with George with Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters
Pippin with Ben Vereen (although reviews say it's a terrible film job and I can't remember it even though I know I've seen it, which is probably a bad sign)
The Light in the Piazza (shown on PBS a few years back, don't believe that's been released, good luck finding it)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:09 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks Pink! That's cool.

Is there a secret underworld of Broadway bootleggers? Or is it just low-quality-guy-with-a-handheld-video-camera garbage?
posted by moof at 2:57 PM on July 4, 2008

There is a secret world of Broadway bootleggers, but I believe it is just guys with tiny handheld microphones or cameras. I don't pursue bootlegs but I have friends who do, I'll look into where they might find things.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:12 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yes! Into the Woods. Not all upbeat, but come on, neither is anything worthwhile on Broadway.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 3:10 AM on July 5, 2008

The PBS series Great Performances often showed Broadway performances live

The reason not many of these DVD's exist is because the various theatrical unions have never worked out contract terms that would allow all the creative people to be compensated for their work (royalties or residuals).

If you take a trip to NYC, you can also view shows at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library. There is a video archive of nearly everything done on Broadway. These won't be great videos, mostly one camera in the back of the theatre. This is a research, not lending, library so you'll have to look at everything there.
posted by brookeb at 7:42 AM on July 5, 2008

If you take a trip to NYC, you can also view shows at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library. There is a video archive of nearly everything done on Broadway.

You can if you are considered eligible to watch- not just anyone can. The rules are:

The Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT), housed in the Lucille Lortel Room, adjacent to the Research Collections Reading Room, is restricted for use by theatre professionals, students, and researchers with a work- or study-related reason to view. Advance appointments for viewings are required and may be scheduled by telephoning 212-870-1642.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:11 AM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

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