2 January 2007 | babatjie
About a composer and a city
This is an educational television feature, a "Cable in the Classroom" program designed to introduce Bernstein's music to students by presenting it in terms of his love affair with New York City. It is a pleasant pastiche of performances set in various settings around the city, interspersed with stills and film from original performances, and commentary by critics, colleagues and performers who remember Bernstein fondly. It places the man, and the music, in context, and for some of us, may be the first time we have heard songs from "On the Town" or "West Side Story" rendered without the fanfare and contrivance of the Hollywood productions we grew up with. I happen to like Mandy Patinkin; in any case, he is but one of half a dozen featured singers, and there is nothing unseemly about his performance.