Picks and Pans Review: Bernstein at 70, Great Performances
PBS (Sun., March 19, 9 P.M. ET)
It was damn decent of PBS to invite us to Leonard Bernstein’s 70th-birthday party at Tanglewood in Massachusetts. Who didn’t feel slighted missing out on this two-hour extravaganza last Aug. 25, with performances of Bernstein works by such artists as Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony, Patti Austin, Quincy Jones, Yo-Yo Ma, Barbara Hendricks and the ubiquitous Bobby McFerrin? Included are such fun oddities as Bernstein’s kids singing their composition, “The Seven-Oh Stomp”, and Lauren Bacall crooning “The Saga of Lenny”, with Stephen Sondheim lyrics. Each number is a showstopper, especially the rousing “Quintet” from Bernstein’s Broadway masterpiece, West Side Story. But the real highlight is the passionate maestro jumping for joy from his seat in the audience. Beverly Sills hosts.