Hit or Miss

Live From Lincoln Center

Growing up in the South, I lived for PBS as my major source of “culture.” It was how I was introduced to the brilliant work of composer Stephen Sondheim, the god of teenaged-homosexuals the world over (well, maybe just me). And what was more thrilling than watching Live From Lincoln Center, with the introductory footage that panned over the lit buildings and fountain on the Lincoln Center grounds?

Tonight, I will be in the audience as Sondheim’s Passion, in a concert production with Patti Lupone and Audra McDonald, is broadcast “Live from Lincoln Center” across the country on PBS. I may not be walking past that fountain (because tonight’s performance is at “Jazz at Lincoln Center” in the new Time Warner Center), but I couldn’t imagine being more excited. As Jeff will attest, I’ve been anticipating this for months.


Well that was a big, fat waste of time. Although I doubt anything could have live up to the hype. I’m a huge fan of the score, but this production bored me to tears. Gemignani conducted like he was trying to catch a fire truck. While Donna Murphy’s (the original Fosca) “rich, lustrous voice was the sound of a beautiful soul trapped in an ugly body,” Patti Lupone’s delivery was as wretched as her appearance.

There were a number of miking problems and curiously restrained performances that led me to believe it was being directed towards the cameras rather than the live (paying) audience. Zipping through the show afterward on the TiVo confirmed it. I’m dubbing it myself from the TiVo to DVD because (as a LFLC broadcast) it won’t be commercially released. So I won’t even be able to score points someday by noticing it on someone’s shelf and casually mentioning I was there for the taping.

26 responses so far (Respond)


So lucky!

I’m just ticked off because my Tivo, which is scheduled to auto-record any shows with the keyword “Sondheim”, did not pick up this performance. The show’s title is “Stephen Sondheim’s Passion”, and the “apostrophe s” is messing up my keyword wishlist. Aargh.

Bill | 31 Mar 2005

LFLC (or, as we who work in the Archives, call it: Union Contract Hell) was also my lifeblood in exurban Virginia. And now I work there. Who knew? Hope you enjoyed it. 😉

jonwcollins | 1 Apr 2005

I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy it as much. I thought Patti LuPone was fantastic in what I saw of it. My boyfriend doesn’t know that much about musicals, but he was engaged as well. (We watched the first forty minutes or so.)

I listened to the OBC yesterday while I was driving, and I was surprised by how much colder Donna Murphy seemed. She’s brilliant, of course. Cerveris was better than poor Jere Shea, and Audra is Audra (as much as I love Marin Mazzie).

Bill | 2 Apr 2005

I am in desperate need of this dvd, if there is any way that i could buy it from you. I want to compare it to the original one. please contact me.

Isabella | 8 Sep 2005

By any chance did anyone record the recent Great Performances telecast of “The Light in the Piazza”? My TIVO got it–everything but the first 1/2 hour!! I truly would like to see the full performance, including the hauting opening, if anyone might be able to be so kind . . . . Thanks!

Mike | 17 Jul 2006

We, too, have an incomplete recording of Live from Lincoln Center’s “The Light in the Piazza.” If anyone has a copy we could buy please contact me at btw, Mike… we are missing the LAST half hour

Your name | 28 Jul 2006

I would be glad to buy a copy of the light in the piazza!!! i have an incomplete recording. I will pay more than enough!

Joanna | 4 Aug 2006

I am looking for a copy of DVD or video of the Lincoln Center The Light in the Piazza. Happy to pay copy costs, shipping, etc. Thanks, D

d | 13 Aug 2006

I have a complete copy of LITP..I am on the hunt for a copy of Passion and the Volpe Gala…anyone have these.willing to trade..

Ash | 28 Aug 2006

I’m sad. I wanted to see this all I got was the end or to the flashback. when is this going to be out on dvd?

Lauren Faerber | 24 Sep 2006

I TOO would like a copy of PASSION… I mistakenly taped over it. Will gladly pay for it

leslie | 27 Sep 2006

I am also looking for a copy of Light in the Piazza, be it DVD or VHS. Please let me know if you have one!!! Thanks.

Mandi | 11 Dec 2006

i want LITP DVD or VHS as well – please contact me – thanks soooooooo much!!

pamela day | 14 Dec 2006

Okay, just FYI… I’m not making copies of this for anyone. Not for trade, not for free. Posting a comment here will not get any response. Matt (the owner of this website)

Matt Kingston | 19 Dec 2006

Is there any way you would send me a copy of the DVD of Passion in Concert?? I would die of happiness.

Amelia | 11 Nov 2008