HBO's new TV special is part biography, part music-appreciation lesson and part performance piece. Critic David Bianculli says it's a superbly compiled work, overseen by two of the people most intimately familiar with the composer himself.
2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of composer Robert Schumann. One of the most interesting Schumann commemorative items is the DVD Twin Spirits, a British music-theater piece about the intense relationship between Schumann and his wife Clara, performed by Trudie Styler and Sting.
Singer Vernel Bagneris wrote, directed and starred in the 1979 hit show, One Mo' Time. It's being revived and opens on Broadway this week at the Longacre Theater. The setting is a hot, sultry night at New Orleans' Lyric Theatre in the 1920s. Bagneris performs Charlestons, rags, cakewalks, and other songs of the Vaudeville age, including "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight," "Down in Honky Tonk Town" and "Everybody Loves My Baby." This interview first aired June 21, 2000.
Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews the new PBS documentary "The Rodgers and Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty." It's part of the Great Performances series and is broadcast in most cities on January 6.
Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a new CD of early recordings by Mary Martin, "Mary Martin--The Decca Years 1938-1946" (Koch label). It includes songs by Cole Porter, the Gershwin's, Frank Loesser, and others.
Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a never-before-released recording of two Kurt Weill pieces...."The Lindbergh Flight," a collaboration with Bertolt Brecht, and "The Ballad of the Magna Carta," with a text by Maxwell Anderson.
A revival of Ain't Misbehavin', featuring the original cast, is now playing on Broadway. Critic-at-large Laurie Stone says she jumped at the chance to see it. Overacting and exaggerated choreography plagued the first act, but the cast showed restraint during the last half.