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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the cream of broadway
this is an amazing 80th. birthday party to the legendary composer and lyricist stephen Sondheim. the cream of broadway had gathered on this night to honor Sondheim. there are many highlights. sweeny todd, sunday in the park with george and the last half hour is amazing when 6 broadway divas ( patty lupone, marin mazzie, audra mcdonald, donna murphy, bernadette peters and...
Published on 13 Jan 2012 by ASSAF DGANI

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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sondheim A Birthday Celebration
Unfortuanely I had to return this product as the picture quality was dreadful. As the artites moved about, it was as if they were doing so in jerky movements and a ghosting followed behind them. The sound was fine, but I just couldn't watch it. I suspect this was recorded for Region 1 originally and the transfer to all regions or Region 2 has not been a successful one...
Published on 14 April 2011 by T. Smith


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the cream of broadway, 13 Jan 2012
This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
this is an amazing 80th. birthday party to the legendary composer and lyricist stephen Sondheim. the cream of broadway had gathered on this night to honor Sondheim. there are many highlights. sweeny todd, sunday in the park with george and the last half hour is amazing when 6 broadway divas ( patty lupone, marin mazzie, audra mcdonald, donna murphy, bernadette peters and elaine strich) conquer the stage with a personal interpretation to one of sondheim's gems. a must to musical lovers and to every one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sondheim 80th Birthday Special, 13 Jan 2012
This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
Being a great fan of Sondheim music, I couldn't have been disappointed by this DVD. Fabulous performances by Broadway's best. The last 30 minutes are a knockout. I have purchased 2 more of the DVD's as gifts for fellow Sondheim lovers.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best £10 I've Spent in a LONG time!, 27 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
The Best £10 I've spent in a long, long time. I've read positive reviews on Amazon that raved about Sondheim's music, and I've read some god awful critique that says Sondheim can't write music with a hummable tune. I really don't know what planet the latter critics are from, and after listening to many Stephen Sondheim musicals, and particularly this birthday celebration, I honestly don't care! Coz this is the most beautiful music I've ever heard. The best that simply lifts my spirit and gives me the inner energy to face another tough day. For those who love the bland, one-dimensional music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, go listen to your hearts content. I prefer the rich, multi-layered ones that Sondheim writes. And talk about the best musical talents chosen to sing his songs. Elaine Stritch is my new heroine! What class these performers have! This production is just exhilarating to watch. I know what Christmas presents to buy my friends this coming holiday season. And it's this DVD! No doubt!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Salute To A Master, 26 Aug 2011
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M. J. Nelson (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
This is a lavish and highly professional 80th birthday tribute to America's greatest living composer of stage musicals, recorded in the Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York in March 2010. It does, however, show why Sondheim has never achieved the commercial success enjoyed by some of his predecessors or,indeed,contemporaries. He has always been something of a cerebral composer and lyricist, a feature of his style that seems to have become more marked as his career has progressed. Some of the numbers here from 'Sunday In The Park With George' and 'Sweeney Todd', for example, are far less 'popular songs' in the classic Broadway tradition than quasi-operatic recitatives in which the emphasis is on the complex and musically rather alienating exposition of character and situation. More immediately engaging by far are numbers like 'Too Many Mornings' and 'Losing My Mind' from 'Follies'. Elsewhere one misses some of Sondheim's most memorable songs like 'Send In The Clowns' from 'A Little Night Music' and 'No One Is Alone' from 'Into The Woods'. The artists are mostly splendid, representing, as they evidently do, the cream of Broadway musical talent and the presence of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, no less, adds lustre to the evening. Whatever reservations one may have concerning Sondheim's later works there is no doubting his stature. The accompanying rather gushing notes by the producer/director of the show, Lonny Price, woefully fails to identify the singers of the individual songs or the track numbers and timings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MANY HAPPY RETURNS, 21 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
Broadway's best have converged to pay tribute to one of the musical theatre's greatest talents - for Sondheim's 80th birthday, the perfect present.

The result is two hours of pleasure crammed with highlights, from the exhilarating start to deeply moving finale. En route delights include much fun courtesy of "Sweeney Todd" and a bravura performance from the oldest performer there (she well into her eighties), colleagues rising to applaud as emotions soar.

To their credit, the organizers have steered clear of many Sondheim favourites so frequently aired. Throughout, their aim is to surprise with unexpected renderings or numbers off the beaten track, perhaps even new to most of us. Glimpses of Sondheim in the audience show how well they succeed - he often ecstatic, overwhelmed, gaping, applauding enthusiastically.

David Hyde Pierce proves the ideal host, delivery deadpan as he wittily (and mischievously) links.

Welcome here a celebration of one who so excitingly extended traditional concepts of the musical - music always inventive (and at times extremely challenging), lyrics ranging from the dazzlingly witty to exploration of emotions at a depth rarely seen (sometimes disturbingly, with minds on the brink).

Ironically the final number has neither music nor words by him. It is "Happy Birthday to You".

Eyes of many are moist as he declares, "It was wonderful".

Yes, indeed. A souvenir to treasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely!, 26 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
Great show for Sondheim! Amazingly performed! Loved "Sunday" as finale! However, did not quite match my personal selection (a bit too much from Follies, too little from "Into the Woods", "Sunday", "A Little Night Music" and "Merrily"). Tip: Search for 80th Birthday concert at Royal Albert Hall London.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 8 Sep 2012
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Deb (Shropshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
This is a most wonderful DVD and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

I had recorded the BBC's Sondheim 80th birthday tribute concert on my Sky + box - but when that broke I lost that concert much to my disappointment, so looked on Amazon to see if I could buy it - I couldn't, but found this one. As I had enjoyed the BBC concert so much, I was worried that this might not compare so well. I need not have worried, this concert was equally wonderful and not gushy or over the top as I had expected an American version to be. In fact there was a real element of humour throughout the evening - everyone - entertainers and audience certainly enjoyed the concert.

Patti Lupone is my new hero! Her Ladies who Lunch song is divine and I cannot stop replaying it. She is a real lady of talent and I have just bought her memoirs book to find out more about her. In fact all the artists who take part are excellent. I had not heard of many of them - but it has been fun discovering new to me, artists. Sunday Afternoon with George is one of my favourite musicals and I really enjoyed the songs from this and want to find out more about Mandy Patinkin. David Hyde Pierce (from Frasier)is the perfect host for the evening.

I agree with another reviewer - it would have been nice to see the names of the individual singers listed next to the songs they sing on the information sheet. At least they did add which musicals the tracks were from = so I have been able to follow up new tracks.

The music of Stephen Sondheim is wonderful and this concert highlights many of his works. I highly recommend this DVD - I am sure that you will not be disappointed with it and I will buy some more for Christmas presents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect, 9 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
Perfect tv-coverage of a perfect show! A real tribute to Sondheim... the man can be proud of his life-time work in musicals. The finale with all the female star-singers is breath-taking! wow!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Class, 6 Jun 2012
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RF FISHER "grandadwales" (southampton england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
A remarkable showman who produces lyrics that will and has lasted the test of time.This show celebrates the great man`s birthday and as he has contributed so much to the London Stage must surely be honoured by her majesty.
A great DVD featuring well known stars of Broadway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The god that is; Sondheim, 26 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Stephen Sondheim: The Birthday Concert [DVD] (DVD)
I have really enjoyed this DVD, although it is not for the average 'Andrew Lloyd Webber' fan, Sondheim's music is very complex and vibrant full of delight, I class it as heavy musical theatre, not light and fluffy like webber! It's truly a night full of joyful music that tells a story about a man that is quite simply...incredible, thank you Sondheim for giving us your music, the theatre would be a different world without you.
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