DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

From Ragtime to Reel Time – Richard Glazier in Concert (2012)

An informative and enjoyable one-man concert around Hollywood's golden era.

Published on November 4, 2012

From Ragtime to Reel Time – Richard Glazier in Concert (2012)

Richard Glazier, piano and speaking
Guest: Mickey Rooney
Program: The Man I Love, Rialto Ripples, All the Things You Are, Where or When, How About You, Dear Mr. Gable/You Made Me Love You, Embraceable You, Sabre Dance, Too Late Now, The Man That Got Away, Rhapsody in Blue for solo piano
Studio: Sophie Productions/American Public Television [Distr. by Qualiton]
Video: 16:9 color
Audio: English PCM stereo
Length: 56:31
Rating: ****

Performing in front of a small studio audience at KQED in San Francisco, pianist/raconteur and cultural historian Glazier puts on a show that holds his mostly senior audience spellbound. This was a PBS TV special, as was an earlier of his similar shows titled From Gershwin to Garland. He performs fine arrangements of songs by many golden era composers, such as Gershwin, Arlen, Rodgers and Kern, and fills in with stories in between about the songs, their composers, and everything about the era. There are also photos and some film clips to tie in with his patter.

In the middle of the program are a couple numbers filmed in an old MGM recording stage, with the diminutive Mickey Rooney joining in on the choruses. Some of Glazier stories include personal references, as when he played “Embraceable You” on Gershwin’s own Steinway for Ira Gershwin. Some of the anecdotes are hilarious, and I loved his material on the ironically-witty and hypochondriacal Oscar Levant, who was also one of my favorites as a child.

The piano sound is excellent, and Glazier makes a charming host and musician. No wonder he has performed these one-man shows in every state of the union.

—John Sunier




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