The longest-running performing arts anthology on television continues to feature the best in the performing arts.
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty (#3908H) Duration: 1:56:46 SRND51 TVPG
Choreographer Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty marks the choreographer's return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete his acclaimed reinterpretations of the composer's trio of masterworks that began in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995 with the international success, Swan Lake, featuring a cast of all-male swans. This timeless fairy tale about a princess cursed to sleep for 100 years was adapted into a beloved ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa in 1890. In a highly theatrical production that is not your grandfather's Sleeping Beauty, Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the story at the height of the fin de siecle epoch when fairies, vampires and a decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As the heroine Aurora matures into a young woman, the period shifts to the rigid confines of the Edwardian era. Decades later, awakening from her century-long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day -- a world she finds more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy tale. Bourne's haunting new scenario is a romance for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, resulting in a supernatural love story across the decades, one that even the passage of time cannot erase.
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live! (#3910#) Duration: 56:46 SRND51 TVPG
Inspired by their sensational duet in Great Performances' "Tony Bennett Duets II" episode, the greatest living interpreter of the American songbook has recorded a new album with America's reigning pop diva of today. Teaming up for a concert from the stage of Rose Theater at New York City's Time Warner Center, the duo performs swinging selections from their latest collaboration.
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Let Me Down Easy (#3611H) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TV14
Called "the most exciting individual in American theater" by Newsweek magazine, Anna Deavere Smith (The West Wing, Nurse Jackie) turns her theatrical exploration to matters of the human body with Let Me Down Easy. As in her acclaimed earlier plays Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles, Deavere Smith interviews an eclectic range of people, and then performs as the interviewee in their own words. This new gallery of indelible portraits ranges from boldface names like cyclist Lance Armstrong, supermodel Lauren Hutton and Texas Governor Ann Richards, to lesser known but equally memorable characters including a rodeo bull rider, a New Orleans hospital doctor and the director of a South African orphanage -- all sharing their searing experiences in confronting the price and politics of health, facing the end of life, and encountering the ultimate resilience of the human spirit. The performances was recorded at Washington DC's Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.
Placido Domingo: My Favorite Roles (#3609B) Duration: 1:58:59 STEREO
Placido Domingo is not only one of the most popular and celebrated tenors of his generation, but his international career has also led him to his dual directorships of the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera. In this performance documentary, Domingo looks back and reflects on his favorite roles from opera houses around the world. The story of Domingo's roots in Spain is interwoven with his famous performance as Don Jose in "Carmen" at the Vienna Staatsoper. His memories about his childhood in Mexico inform his acclaimed performance of "El Gato Montes" from the LA Opera. We see him in some of his earliest roles singing "cielo e mar" from "Gioconda" in Madrid, as well as his debut in "Ernani" at Milan's La Scala. Other highlights: from the Metropolitan Opera, his striking performance in Verdi's "Luisa Miller;" excerpts from the Emmy-winning "Tosca" from Rome; and Domingo's star turns in "Simon Boccanegra," "Les Contes D'Hoffmann," "Samson et Dalilah," "I Pagliacci" in Zefirelli's film (La Scala) and his enduring signature role in Verdi's "Otello."
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Paul McCartney's Live Kisses (#3801H) Duration: 56:46 SRND51 TVG
At the forefront of the rock 'n roll revolution that changed popular music forever in his early career with The Beatles, Paul McCartney has continued to push boundaries for over 40 years as a solo artist, a member of his second group Wings, and an award-winning composer for classical and dance. His latest adventure is "Kisses on the Bottom," a collection of standards beloved to McCartney since childhood, along with two of his own new songs, "My Valentine" and "Only Our Hearts." Produced with the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band, "Kisses on the Bottom" is the first record in McCartney's historic oeuvre to feature him almost exclusively on vocals. GREAT PERFORMANCES joins McCartney for an intimate concert recorded at the historic Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, featuring performances of such standards as "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," "It's Only a Paper Moon," "Always," "Bye Bye Blackbird" and more.
Magical Mystery Tour Revisited (#3803H) Duration: 56:16 STEREO TVPG
Produced at the peak of Beatlemania in 1967, "Magical Mystery Tour" is the least known of the various films starring The Beatles and was never theatrically released or nationally broadcast on US television, only receiving sporadic TV syndication in the 1980s. This documentary chronicles the behind-the-scenes story on the making of the film, and provides context for "the summer of love" era that set the scene for its production.
Cats (#4003H) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVG
One of musical theater's biggest blockbusters returns to GP for an encore presentation. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats reigned over an 18-year Broadway run and unending touring productions that continue to travel the globe. Based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Webber's hit-filled stage version boasts musical highlights aplenty, including Elaine Paige's return to her original role as Grizabella, the faded "glamour cat" singing the show-stopping ballad "Memory."
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