Favorite

television: Musical Moments 

Bringing theater, dance and classical music to the masses for 30 years.

Since then, it has consistently been a national treasure, giving its audience the equivalent of the best seats in the house for broadcasts of "Bernstein's Mass" (1974); "Julius Caesar" (1979); the complete cycle of Wagner's "Ring" (1983); "Sweeney Todd" (1985); Paul McCartney's "Liverpool Oratorio" (1991); "Recording 'The Producers': A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks" (2001); and this season's outstanding production of "Kiss Me Kate." The latter was the first Broadway revival in nearly 50 years of Cole Porter's musical comedy masterpiece.

As a much-deserved tribute to itself, "Great Performances" this year put together a 30th anniversary special of memorable moments from its history. Nathan Lane, who confesses he's "never been to a PBS party," although he's appeared on the series a number of times, hosted the special, which was taped at New York's famed Sardi's. ("Having your picture on the wall here at Sardi's is a rite of passage for celebrities," he deadpanned. "It's sort of like your first police mug shot or your first sham marriage.")

The special couldn't come close to really summarizing what the series has meant through the decades to discerning viewers. Where else is one to see music by the cast of "Cats"; a celebration of the work of Oscar Hammerstein II; a dazzling performance of "Unforgettable by Natalie Cole and her late father"; Mikhail Baryshnikov in Twyla Tharp's choreography set to Frank Sinatra's "That's Life"; Itzhak Perlman playing "Wedding Dance" from "Fiddler on the Roof"; or the incomparable Julie Andrews in concert, singing "The Sound of Music" with such enthusiasm and soaring talent that you'd swear she — and we — would never grow tired of it.

For such great moments in theater, dance and music, we have the creative and innovative Jac Venza to thank. And we do. S



"Great Performances 30th Anniversary Special" airs June 1 at 3 p.m. and June 5 at 8 p.m. on WCVE-TV.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: Interview: Gregg Allman

    • I want to use this great opportunity to thank Dr. Akereco for helping me to…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: Review: Richmond Triangle Players' "The View UpStairs"

    • Thanks for coming to the show, Claire! Just a small edit, my last name is…

    • on August 18, 2017
  • Re: The 13 Most Haunted Places in Richmond

    • The Sutherland Tavern..... I've been there personally.

      https://www.petersburgarea.org/events/sutherlands-tavern-ghost-spirits-tour

    • on August 17, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in Arts and Culture

    More by Don Dale

    • Sense of Justice

      Sense of Justice

      Why, we jurors wondered, did the rules allow us to have so much information while leaving such bewildering gaps?
      • Mar 2, 2005
    • Late-Night Perfection

      Late-Night Perfection

      Remembering Johnny Carson
      • Feb 2, 2005
    • What to Watch

      What to Watch

      The networks make a comeback this season.
      • Dec 29, 2004
    • More »

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation