Subtitled “The Best of the Tony Awards,” this is a collection of 23 performances from the Awards show broadcasts. The net is cast pretty wide here as far as the years are concerned, so you get to see a young Jerry Orbach (for instance) performing “Promise, Promises” from 42nd Street. Carol Channing, Robert Goulet, Tommy Tune and Harvey Fierstein are the hosts. Fans of musical theatre should expect miracles here, but this is of considerable archival interest.
The sound may be stereo, but very much TV stereo, and even that must be limited by how old the recordings are. Either way, don’t expect any surround elements whatsoever. The sound is clean enough.
As with the sound, the picture is very much broadcast TV quality, and not recent TV at that. So while the transfer itself is unobjectionable, the footage varies wildly in picture quality, but is frequently soft and shows some artifacting. Think about what your VHS recordings from about fifteen years ago look like, and you have the idea.
More scrapbook fodder here. The menu offers show info (original cast, length of run, opening night production credits), and there are reproductions of the covers and inside pages of Playbill for the various shows. The menu’s main screen is scored.
Think of this as an audio-visual scrapbook. There are plenty of big names performing here, and it’s the record of those performances, rather than the quality of the recording, that is important.
Special Features List
- Historical Information About the Original Broadway Productions
- Playbill Cover Art