There are quite a few DVDs coming out soon that should be of great interest to theater aficionados. Here's a sampling:
COMPANY: As I watch and re-watch the TV broadcast of the recent Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company, the production is really starting to grow on me. As I said in my review, when I saw this show at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, I found it smart but cold. I was seated in the balcony, which made it hard to connect with the performers; it's not really the sort of show that plays well to the back row. But there's something about the PBS-telecast version that brings out the tension and subtlety of John Doyle's direction. Raul Esparza and Barbara Walsh in particular were a lot more impressive on the small screen than in person. The street date for the DVD is May 20th, but if you order it through New York's Channel Thirteen, they'll ship it to you in March. Will I order from Channel Thirteen, or wait for the regular release? Do you even have to ask?
SWEENEY TODD: Another DVD release that I'm eagerly awaiting is Tim Burton's movie version of "Sweeney Todd." In my review, I called the movie a "masterwork," and I'll be interested to see if it holds up to repeated viewings. I imagine that it will, in particular the nuanced performances by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. (I will probably fast-forward through most of the really gory stuff. I'm kind of a puss when it comes to graphic violence.) The film will be available in both a regular version and a two-disc special edition. Which will I be getting? Do you even have to ask?
ENCHANTED: I haven't really been going to the movies all that much lately, but in addition to "Sweeney Todd," I also saw "Enchanted" during the recent holiday season. I remember seeing the preview one time when I took my eight-year-old niece Alyssa to see something or other, and I turned to her and said, "Oh, sweetie, we have to see that." She agreed, and we both had a blast when we finally got to see it, as I mentioned in my review. I particularly had fun picking out all the theater people both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Not only was Amy Adams utterly disarming as Giselle, but the cast also included two dreamboats: Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden. What's not to love?