Back in 2005, the Hollywood Bowl held a 75th birthday tribute to Stephen Sondheim. Happily, I was able to go, and it was an absolutely wonderful concert. I'd been told that it was videotaped for possible broadcast later on PBS -- but for whatever reason it never did get aired. I don't know if it was a rights issue matter, or they didn't get enough underwriting funds, or if the video wasn't good enough (I can't believe that). But whatever the reason, it didn't make it on TV, which is a shame. It was terrific. Somewhere, I assume, the video of that night still exists in some archive.
One of the highlights was when Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou reunited to recreate the "A Little Priest" number they did in Sweeney Todd on Broadway in 1979. And happily there's video of that, taken from the audience, so it's a little shaky, but it's fine, and the historic record is saved. Both performers are a joy and (best of all) doing the song totally in character after 26 years -- she most-especially dives in deep -- rather than just standing up and singing the tune. And the audience is wildly appreciative throughout.
Making the video even more special is how rare it is to have recorded footage of them together from the show. When the TV version was done, it was from the road tour, when George Hearn had the lead opposite her. There's one other video of the two of them that I'm aware of, but not likely much more..
Unrelated side note: I almost missed the concert. Rather than battle hellish traffic getting to the Bowl and then trying to park, I've started using their Park-n-Ride option. As it happened that night, for inexplicable reasons, the lot I was using never got its buses. The line of people grew and grew, ever longer. And more upset as the time was getting closer to the concert. Though there were supposed to be half a dozen buses scheduled to show up, none did. Until finally a single bus arrived. The question was who would get on. There was a line, but also a lot of annoyed people. Fortunately, I'd bought a bus ticket ahead of time -- and those with prepaid tickets got on first. I have no idea how they decided on the rest, but once I got my seat I was so relieved that little outside the bus mattered. As it was, we still got the the Hollywood Bowl late, and by the time I reached my seat, I'd missed the first 10 minutes. But it went on for another two hours or more, so it worked out...
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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