Whoopi Goldberg, star of Ghost and The Color Purple, made her first splash off-Broadway with a one-woman show of vivid characters called The Spook Show--a title dropped when the show transferred to Broadway proper, which was then turned into a TV special called Direct From Broadway in 1985. Twenty years later she revisits some of these characters in Back to Broadway, such as the sharp-tongued junkie Fontaine--who sounds off on a whole spectrum of contemporary political issues, making this as much a stand-up comedy routine as a character monologue. Whoopi: Back to Broadway also includes Direct From Broadway and the contrast between Whoopi's young, hungry self and the supremely confident self of 2005 is fascinating, as are the two different versions she presents of a character called only the Cripple--a physically disabled woman who finds herself resisting the affections of a man who falls in love with her. The differences are not as simple as youthful dynamism vs. emotional maturity; the early performances focus on the characters, while in the 2005 show the characters are more of a channel through which Whoopi projects herself. Her appeal lies not so much in the originality of her observations--little she says will surprise anyone of a liberal persuasion--but in her emotional conviction. She speaks what she believes to be the Truth-with-a-capital-T, yet never seems preachy or didactic. That--combined with her comic timing and sheer charisma--makes for two rich, rewarding evenings. --Bret Fetzer
Product Information Specifications for Whoopi: Back to Broadway - The 20th Anniversary Below:
Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale / Royal Shakespeare Company, Barbican Theatre
Manufacturer: Kultur Video
The Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Winter's Tale, performed at the Barbican Theatre, London, presented here for the first time in a complete and un-edited edition. This landmark production was hailed by critics and played to packed houses both in Stratford and London.
The perennial Industrial Rock band captured live during its 2005/2006 'Live - With Teeth' tour. 19 selected prime slices of live NIN from the tour supporting 2005's album of the same name, which was in the aftermath of singer Trent Reznor's prolonged struggle with drink and drugs.
Manufacturer: Island Records/Interscope/UMe
Brand: Universal Music
Filmed at the Foro Sol Autodromo in Mexico City on 3rd December 1997, PopMart Live from Mexico City was directed by David Mallet and first released on video the following year; this is the first time it has been released on DVD. Described as a sci-fi disco supermarket, the PopMart Tour opened in its spiritual home, Las Vegas on 25th April 1997. All trash and kitsch, PopMart introduced a giant mirrorball lemon, a 100ft cocktail stick - complete with olive, and the works of Lichtenstein, Warhol and Haring, to a live rock audience: a production experience never quite seen before. Originally filmed on analogue video, the film has been transferred to a digital format with re-graded and cleaned pictures. Great care has been taken to maintain the original look by simply enhancing it, with an added degree of sharpness and contrast unavailable when originally filmed. The audio has also been re-mastered and mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound. PopMart Live from Mexico City will be available in two formats: a Standard 1-disc format containing the concert, and a Special Limited Edition 2-disc format, the 2nd bonus disc containing previously unreleased live audio and video material, including documentaries, a PopMart tour visuals montage, and DVD-ROM extras.
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City Music Hall
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds' April 22 concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall is released on CD and DVD just in time for the end of the summer. The aptly named "Live at Radio City" is due as a two-CD or two-DVD set via RCA, while a Blu-Ray edition will arrive two weeks later. The 27-track set is graced with a number of songs never before released as Matthews/Reynolds live performances, including "Crush," "Gravedigger" and "Don't Drink the Water." The track list also features oldies such as "Lie in Our Graves," "#41" and "Two Step." Among the bonus features on the DVD are a 46-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, a 5.1 audio mix and a photo gallery.