By Andrew Gans
07 May 2013
Narrated by Tony winner Joel Grey, the film, according to press notes, "examines the leading role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical and showcases the work of legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim."
Alongside performances and archival footage, the film "co-mingles cultural history with illuminating perspectives on the origins and meanings of some of Broadway's most beloved songs, stories and shows." The two-disc DVD set includes a bonus disc with three hours of performances and interviews not seen on PBS and a 16-page viewer’s guide.
The film, which was produced, written and directed by Michael Kantor, includes interviews with Sheldon Harnick, Stephen Schwartz, Harold Prince, Arthur Laurents, Charles Strouse and Mel Brooks and performances by Barbra Streisand, David Hyde Pierce, Matthew Broderick, Kelli O'Hara, Zero Mostel, Nathan Lane, Idina Menzel, Dick Van Dyke, Ethel Merman and Kristin Chenoweth.