3/16/09 Update - Had a rough week, needed a little touch-up. The DVD still rocks the house: love the part where Oedipus is trying to sing his way into Colonus.
10/17/2008 Update - Hell must have have froze over because WNET and PBS are releasing the DVD of the Philadelphia performance. By the time you read this I will have pre-ordered my copy from Amazon.com and will be dogging the UPS guy something fierce. Thanks so much to Ivan in Jersey for the head's up.
The following is my original post on the play. Sadly the YouTube link is history but hey, do the right thing and buy the DVD.
PBS Great Performances aired this play twice about 20+ years ago. It was an Off-Broadway play and a recording was made of one of the performances. For those that saw the play it invokes passion. Mr. Morgan Freeman is lyrical to the Nth degree as the Narrator.
Let me repeat this, this is a drama set to music based on the Greek story of Oedipus. It is not a gospel play. But this production had members of the Blind Boys of Alabama, J.J. Farley, Jevetta Steel, Sam Butler, Robert Earl Jones (with that wonderful voice) and a chorus that is just amazing.
In this selection, our man Oedipus has arrived at Colonus. He is petitioning for temporary residency. The locals are hesitant. These are the opening negotiations.
For those of you who have seen any version of the play I'm sorry to tell you that there is no legal DVD or VHS copy available. Even the bootleg action is kinda shaky. Um, not that I would know about that kind of thing.
I don't. Really. I got nothing for you. I checked the Great Performances' web site and in the FAQ they state that due to the cost of paying for clearances for the music and the performers there is no way for them to release it for sale.
PBS has no current plans to re-air the program. And after 20+ years I don't think they are about to budge on this point. Not that it hasn't stopped at bunch of you from asking. Myself included. But seriously, if they want to make some money re-run this at pledge time.
PBS said that a cast album is available on Amazon.com. You can hear other samples from the performance. I'm sure quiet a few folks have it on VHS tape in their closet from the original on air recording. Be very, very nice to those people.
And for the low life SOB that has taken another person's copy and didn't give it back a pox upon your soul.