Little-seen Stephen Sondheim TV musical headed to DVD


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Fans of Stephen Sondheim seldom get a chance to chomp at new material. The octogenarian composer of such classics as ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Company’ is in semi-retirement, though he continues to appear in public at lectures and other speaking events.

This month, a seldom-seen musical that Sondheim wrote in 1966 is poised to find a new audience on DVD. While technically it doesn’t qualify as a new work, the novelty of the release is sure to excite fans who have worn out their beloved Sondheim cast recordings.


‘Evening Primrose’ was originally broadcast on ‘ABC Stage 67,’ a cultural TV series that featured dramas, musicals and other entertainment. The musical, with an original score by Sondheim, starred Anthony Perkins, Dorothy Stickney, Larry Gates and Charmian Carr.

Based on a story by John Collier, the musical follows the adventures of an eccentric young man (Perkins) who decides to hide out in a department store, where he encounters a group of hermits who are also living in the store.

The DVD, available Oct. 26, features a restored and remastered version of the tele-film as well as a number of bonuses. The DVD is being produced by Entertainment One and the Archive of American Television.

‘Evening Primrose’ has been making a gradual comeback in recent years. The original TV soundtrack was released in 2008 and selections from the musical have been popping up in various Broadway-themed recordings by different artists.

Sondheim, meanwhile, is scheduled to appear at UCLA’s Royce Hall on Nov. 8 in conversation about his work and career.

-- David Ng