Cats The Musical Commemorative Edition
David Mallet (Director)
Broadway Musicals DVD
BM01 Broadway Musicals DVD - David Mallet (Director) - Cats The Musical Commemorative Edition - Broadway Musicals DVD - Special Features - Documentary: The Making of Cats with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and comments by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elaine Paige (Grizabella), and members of the original cast. Additional Features - The 30-minute documentary What's a Jellicle Cat? The Making of Cats the Video provides a backstage look at the video version of the longest-running show in Broadway history. After a brief discussion of the original show's start in 1981, the bulk of the time is spent on the creation of the video and the advantages it had over a stage production--a larger orchestra, clearer lyrics, and close-ups for better story-telling. There's plenty of rehearsal footage, plus comments by Lloyd Webber, director-choreographer Gillian Lynne, Elaine Paige (Grizabella), and other cast members. Of course Memory is discussed, and an excerpt of it played by the orchestra without vocals is positively gorgeous. A completely new experience. It's Cats as you've never seen it before. Catch this exhilarating experience on video. The musical that is known all over the world will captivate you like never before. The `Cats' DVD is a cinematic record of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical as performed on the London stage in, I believe, 1998 starring Elaine Paige in the `lead' role of Grizabella, although the only aspect of her role which warrants calling it the starring role is the fact that this character sings the `show-stopper' song, `Memory' which, if you are to believe writer - director Kevin Smith's bit in `Jersey Girl', has become a real Broadway cliche. The show is the most truly `ensemble' performance I can think of. Few characters stand out for more than the length of a single piece, yet practically all characters are on stage for over 50% of the two-hour performance. Aside from Paige, the only character - actor who is remotely familiar to me is John Mills who is on for but two scenes and who is more of a prop than a character. I make a strong point of the fact that this is a recording of a stage performance rather than a conversion of the play to a more realistic environment. This conversion is done for most Broadway plays turned into movies, especially for big musicals such as `Oklahoma', `The Sound of Music', `My Fair Lady', and `Chicago'. But this conversion is not always successful. That is, the very big realistic setting is not always an enhancement. My best evidence for this is the film done of `The Fantasticks' with a cast including such high powered talent as Joel Gray and others. As someone how has seen the play done on the live stage three times with three different interpretations, including a performance by the New York City cast, I can say that the movie failed to breath any life into the classic minimalist staging it gets in intimate little theaters. The movie was simply not as good as the live performance. This is clearly not the case with this DVD record.
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