If all goes as planned, this time next year theatre fans should have three new DVDs to enjoy. Let's keep our fingers crossed that everything will come together for all three projects.
The first has already happened, and would logically be the first to come out for home use: the New York Philharmonic's Company, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone, among many other stars. In addition to the actual event - 2 performances live - the production was broadcast to movie theatres all over the country. Talk of a DVD surfaced, then was quickly squashed by the NYP. Recently, however, talk of a DVD release came at the same time as an announced broadcast of the performance over in the U.K. Sounds like a win-win to me - Londoners can marvel at LuPone's boozy and brilliantly sung Joanne and Harris' sexy, youthful take on Bobby. It is one DVD I am really looking forward to.
LOVE NEVER DIES
We all know the history of this one... huge advance in London, promised simultaneous openings in New York and Australia. Critical drubbing, plans scaled back, creative team dismissed. Contest/double dog dare to see what international team could create a silk purse out of this sow's ear. Enter an Australian theatre team, a now twice revised script, and much adoration from the one who counts, Andrew Lloyd Webber. Now that production has been filmed and will be broadcast in this country on February 28 and March 7. A DVD is to follow... unless, of course, this version is so popular that it gets picked up for Broadway. Then, who knows? We shall see if Love Never Dies becomes the hit Lloyd Webber thinks it should be, or if it will be his...
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG
Revised and re-staged as much as Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along has been, one hopes that the great score can eventually be held up by a great book that works. With two productions currently working toward opening (John Doyle's treatment and the soon-to-open Encores! production at City Center), comes news from original cast member and NYP Company stager, Lonny Price that he plans on having a full documentary about the cast, that moment they were all together in a new show by Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince, and how much their lives have been influenced by that show some 30 years later. He promises to include footage of the original production, filmed sequences for an ABC special that never aired, and scenes from the 2002 reunion concert (my God, it has been 10 years sibce that already??). Fans of the show, fans of Sondheim and fans of musical theatre history have to be salivating for this one!
I know I am!