‘Live From Lincoln Center: Carousel’ Available Now

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Seeing a musical on stage is a special experience.  Seeing it at a venue such as the famed Lincoln Center is an even more special experience.  Now thanks to Public Media Distribution audiences can enjoy both experiences from the comfort of their own homes with the release of Live from Lincoln Center: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel.

Live from Lincoln Center: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel was released Feb 28 on DVD.  The performance, originally recorded in the Avery Fisher Hall at the famed arts center in March 2013, features music from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and performances by Kelli O’Hara (Sex and the City 2, Peter Pan Live, The Accidental Wolf), Shuler Hensley (Van Helsing, The Legend of Zorro, After Life), John Cullum (Northern Exposure, The Middle, ER) and others.

The 2013 performance presented in PBS’ new release is not the first time that the musical has been staged at the Lincoln Theater.  It has also been presented at the famed facility in 1994 and won five Tony ® Awards for that run including Best Musical Revival and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Audra McDonald.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical, based on Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar’s 1909 play Liliom, has been called “the best musical of the 20th Century” by Time magazine.  It moves Molnar’s original story from Europe to the Maine coastline as it follows the tragic love story of carnival barker Billy Bigelow and mill worker Julie Jordan.  The story includes such memorable songs as ‘If I Loved You,’ ‘June Is Bustin’ Out All Over’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’

Ever since it made its Broadway debut in 1945, Carousel has been adapted countless times across America and the world.  It has even been translated into a big-screen feature that debuted in American theaters on Feb. 16, 1956.  It is currently in Paris by Britain’s Opera North.

Live from Lincoln Center: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel is available now on DVD.  It can be ordered via PBS’ online store for $19.99.  More information on this and other episodes of Live from Lincoln Center is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.livefromlincolncenter.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LincolnCenterNYC

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LincolnCenter

 

 

 

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PMD, Smithsonian Channel Take To The Skies With New Box Sets

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution/Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel and Public Media Distribution are taking to the skies next month with the release of two seasons of its hit series Air Warriors.

Public Media Distribution will release Air Warriors: Season One on Tuesday, May 2nd and Air Warriors: Season Two on Tuesday, May 23rd.  Much like Discovery Channel’s classic series Wings, Air Warriors focuses on some of the military’s most well-known aircraft.  That includes jets and helicopters.

Season One focuses on one of the military’s most successful warplanes in the F-15 Eagle and its most powerful chopper, the AH-64 Apache.  Season One also focuses on the V-22 Osprey, which ever since its creation, has been talked about both for good and bad reasons.

In the series’ second season, three more well-known military aircraft take center stage in the form of the A-10 Warthog, the Blackhawk, and the Prowler/Growler.  The Warrthog has been under scrutiny by military and political leaders ever since the creation of the F-35 fighter jet, but controversy over the jet has kept the Warthog a key piece of the military’s airpower to this day.

The Blackhawk has been a lightning rod of its own throughout its life.  The chopper has been a symbol of power, much like the Apache.  However, it has been the center of controversy because of the number of crashes involving the chopper throughout its existence.

The Prowler/Growler remains an integral piece of the military’s operations. The Prowler is a descendant of the A-6 Intruder, which played a key role in the Navy’s operations in Asia in the mid-20th century.  The Prowler has been used by the military since 1971. It is no longer used by the Navy, but is still in use by the United States Marine Corps.

The Growler replaced the Prowler in the Navy’s arsenal in 2015. The jet is an offshoot of the FA-18 Superhornet, and has been in operation since 2009.

Air Warriors: Season One will retail for MSRP of $29.99 and Season Two for the same price.  Both seasons can be pre-ordered online now at a reduced price of $24.99 each at PBS’ online store.  Both seasons can also be ordered together in one set at a bundled price of $44.99.

More information on this and other Smithsonian Channel programs is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.smithsonianchannel.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SmithsonianChannel

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SmithsonianChan

 

 

 

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‘SOTD: Graveyard Of The Giant Beasts’ Is A “Giant” Hit

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Giant menacing monster animals on the rampage are familiar fodder for sci-fi and horror fans. From the killer beasts that terrorized audiences in Universal’s classic creature features to killer reptiles and mammals that followed from other studios, they are the stuff of nightmares (and sometimes all out laughs).  However, some of those giant creatures might not be as much of a stretch as some might think after watching Secrets of the Dead: Graveyard of the Giant Beasts.  This eye-opening episode of PBS’ hit history-based series is a program that creature feature fans will appreciate just as much as those with any interest in the biological sciences.  That is due in no small part to the program’s story.  This will be discussed shortly.  The information presented throughout the story is just as important to discuss as the episode’s story.  It will be discussed later.  The program’s graphic illustrations used to help tell the story round out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right.  All things considered, Secrets of the Dead: Graveyard of the Giant Beasts proves to be a “giant” success.

Early this past January PBS released Secrets of the Dead: Graveyard of the Giant Beasts on DVD.  At the time, the most recent episode of the his history and science-based series was the most recent of the series’ episodes to be released on DVD.  Those who have yet to watch this episode will find that it will appeal to a wide variety of audiences.  That is due in part to its story.  The story follows a group of researchers examining the remains of two massive prehistoric predators—an alligator and a snake.  The researchers compare the massive beasts’ remains to those of their modern-day descendants to reveal just how immense the creatures were.  The revelation of each animal’s true size finds that some of the animals at the center of Hollywood’s classic creature features might not have been so far-fetched after all.  Sure, the snake and alligator discovered here were not the immense sizes of those on the silver screen.  They do prove to be pretty big, though.  Along the way, the program pits the two against one another in a battle of the beasts to find out which would win.  The result is just as shocking as the revelation that such giant creatures even existed.  The finding wouldn’t be possible without the information that is shared throughout the nearly hour-long program either.  That information is just as important to discuss as the story at the center of this episode of SOTD.

The story at the center of Secrets of the Dead: Graveyard of the Giant Beasts is in itself a key piece of the program’s overall presentation.  That is because it proves the creature features created during Hollywood’s golden age (and perhaps even more recently) might not have been such a stretch after all.  It is just one element that makes this episode such an interesting watch.  The information that is provided throughout the course of this program is just as important to its presentation as its story.  The key information provided throughout the program includes the revelation of the snake’s strike and killing ability despite its massive size.  Viewers will be shocked to learn that despite being so enormous, it had the ability to strike in the span of only a second before killing its prey.  Its crushing power is just as incredible to discover.  In the same vein, the ability of the mega croc to kill.  It makes one appreciate that the modern day descendants are nowhere near as huge as themselves even though they are still just as deadly in their own right.  As if this is not enough, the very fact that the investigation begins in a massive open pit coal mine that was a swamp millions will get people thinking and talking just as much.  The discussion on the discovery of a skeleton of a turtle that was as big as a car in that same location is just as interesting and certain to generate discussion.  These and so many other items revealed throughout the course of this episode of SOTD prove in whole why the program’s information is just as important to its whole as its story.  It is still not the last important element to discuss in examining this episode either.  The graphic illustrations that are coupled with the information round out the program’s most important elements.

The story at the center of Secrets of the Dead: Graveyard of the Giant Beasts and its information are both key elements to discuss in examining the program’s overall presentation.  They are not its only important elements.  The graphic illustrations that accompany the program’s information are important in their own right, too.  That is because they present a picture of what the Titanoboa and the mega croc are believed to have looked like when they were alive.  That visualization creates a new appreciation for their sheer size and how dangerous they must have been.  The visualizations provided through the graphic illustrations also paint a rich picture of what the open pit where the skeletons were found might have looked like in the creatures’ lifetimes.  Such a vivid contrast between the open pit and that lush landscape is impacting in its own right.  There are other ways in which the program’s graphic illustrations prove important to this episode’s presentation, but discussing each instance would take far too long.  Suffice it to say that when the program’s collective graphic illustrations are set against its breadth of information and its equally engaging story, the whole of those elements makes this episode of Secrets of the Dead a program that is its own “massive” hit and one of this year’s top new documentaries.

Secrets of the Dead: Graveyard of the Giant Beasts is one of the “biggest” episodes that the hit history and science-based series has produced in recent memory.  That is proven through a story that reveals truth is just as interesting as fiction (or even stranger).  The information that is shared throughout the program is just as interesting and engaging as the story.  The graphic illustrations that are incorporated into the program round out its most important elements. They drive home just how big the Titanoboa and the “mega croc” were, and get audiences really thinking about the contrast of their sauna-like swamp home and the open pit mine that took its place millions of years later.  Each element is an important part of the program in its own right.  All things considered, they make this episode of Secrets of the Dead–once again—a giant hit and one of this year’s top new documentaries.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of Secrets of the Dead is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SecretsofTheDead

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SecretsPBS

 

 

 

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‘Peg + Cat’s’ First Movie Is Coming To DVD

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS/Public Media Distribution

Public Media Distribution will release  PBS Kids’ very first Peg + Cat movie this May.

Peg + Cat: Peg and Cat Save The World will be released exclusively on DVD on Tuesday, May 23.  In the pair’s debut movie, Peg and her fury blue friend are asked to help save the world from an opera-singing pig that is on a collision course with Earth.  The task is put on the pair by the President, voiced here by Grey’s Anatomy star Sandra Oh.

The two-part movie’s run time is 60-minutes.  It will retail for MSRP of $6.99.  It will be listed soon at PBS’ online store.  More information on the new DVD is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news, activities and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/peg

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PegPlusCatTV

 

 

 

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‘A Chef’s Life’ Continues To Cook Up Success In Its Fourth Season

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution/PBS

PBS’ hit reality series A Chef’s Life has become one of the network’s most popular shows since it first debuted some years ago.  The show wrapped its fourth season in 2016 and saw that season released late last November on a two-disc DVD set.  For those who haven’t yet seen Season Four, the series’ fourth season is in itself an enjoyable human drama; so much better than all of the obviously scripted “reality” series on television today.  The story at the core of the series is once again its cornerstone.  However, its home release on DVD does present at least one negative, a lack of printable recipes.  Thankfully, it is the only truly noticeable of the season’s negatives in its recent home release.  The collective information presented throughout Season Four makes up for the season’s one glaring negative.  That information includes the history of the featured ingredients, the stories of the people around Eastern North Carolina and other general information.  When all of that material is coupled with the stories at the center of Season Four, the whole of those elements makes up for the set’s one negative, and in turn makes it another mostly enjoyable collection of episodes from this fan favorite series.

The fourth season of A Chef’s Life is a mostly enjoyable new collection of episodes from PBS’ hit reality series.  That is due in part to the fact that the stories presented throughout the season continue to keep this series completely apart from all of the clearly scripted reality series on television today.  There is no fake drama generated through sharp editing and producers who are aimed only at getting ratings.  Mrs. Howard’s struggle to balance her personal and business life and to maintain her humility through it all is clearly something very real.  Even as Sous Chef John leaves and has to be replaced, there are no alligator tears shed.  It would have been so easy for Howard and others at the restaurant to go that route.  But they didn’t.  They showed they really cared about John and his wife and wished them the best.  Their uncertainty moving forward was just as clearly real.  The emotional struggle going on within Mrs. Howard as she works to balance her life is also fully believable.  This makes Season Four all the easier to watch from one episode to the next.  Speaking of that entertainment that the stories offer, the whole of said stories shows why they are so integral to the season’s presentation in its recent DVD home release.  While there is plenty to appreciate in the stories this season, it is just one of the season’s positives.  While it clearly has positives, there is at least one negative that can’t be ignored in the season’s home release.  That one negative is its lack of printable recipes.

The true reality of the stories in the fourth season of A Chef’s Life is the cornerstone of the season’s enjoyable presentation.  It is clear in watching each of the season’s episodes that there is no fake drama at any point in any of the season’s episodes.  While the stories do plenty of good for the season’s overall presentation, not everything in this season’s home release is positive.  This season’s home release comes without the ability to print out the dishes presented throughout the season.  This is important to note because audiences have been able to print out the recipes for the featured dishes at least in the third season.  So to not have them available for print-out here is a little disheartening.  It forces audiences to either go online to find the recipes or to just buy Mrs. Howard’s new cookbook.  The sad reality is that the recipes were likely left out as a means to push her book since it took so much precedence throughout Season Four.  One can only hope that wasn’t the case.  If it was, then it is not the best way to promote her book.  Thankfully though, this issue is Season Four’s only negative.  The collective information that is presented throughout this season makes up for that negative.

The lack of printable recipes in this season’s home release is a negative about its presentation that cannot be ignored.  It takes away a significant amount from the season’s presentation in its home release.  Luckily though, it is the season’s only negative.  There is still one more positive that can and should be noted.  That positive is the collective information presented throughout the season.  The information in question involves the history of the given ingredients in each episode and the stories of and from the people of Eastern North Carolina.  Audiences will be interested, for instance, to learn of the lack of respect that catfish has as a seafood option.  Just as interesting to learn in this same moment is the southern take on the phrase “more than one way to skin a cat.”  The man who explains its root is partially right, but also partially wrong.  The root he gives is just one of many roots of the verbage.  There are also lessons about the difference between artichokes and sunchokes in “All Sunchoked Up” that will interest foodies and audiences in general.  As if that isn’t enough, the lessons on cabbage are just as interesting even for those who aren’t fans of cabbage.  When these tidbits of information and others are coupled with the season’s engaging stories, they do plenty to make up for the lack of printable recipes this time out.  Overall, they do so much that even with that one glaring negative, the home release of A Chef’s Life: Season Four still proves another enjoyable installment of PBS’ hit reality series.

The fourth season of A Chef’s Life is another enjoyable installment of PBS’ hit reality series.  That is even despite the fact that audiences aren’t able to print out the recipes this time.  The stories make clearly evident that there is no generated drama from behind lens.  Everything that audiences see on camera is clearly real.  The information that is shared throughout the season adds even more interest to each episode.  Those elements are more than enough to make up for the lack of printable recipes this time out.  All things considered, this season proves to be worth at least one watch and gives hope for the series’ fifth season.  A Chef’s Life: Season Four is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and the series’ previous seasons is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.achefslifeseries.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AChefsLife

Twitter: http://twitter.com/chefsouth

 

 

 

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PBS Has “Dug Up” A Brilliant New Work In ‘AmEx: The Race Underground’

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Mass transportation is one of the most important pieces of any metropolitan region’s infrastructure.  From the wheels on the bus to the wheels on the trolley to the wheels on the subway cars, moving the masses from place to place is just as important to any metro region and its neighbors as anything else.  So it only makes sense that eventually PBS would present a documentary on the history of one major mass transit method.  The last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television, it did just that earlier this week when it released to DVD American Experience: The Race Underground.  This lesson on the history of America’s subway systems will appeal to everyday audiences just as much as it will people who run America’s major metro regions.  That is due in no small part to its story.  This will be discussed shortly.  The information presented within the story is just as important to discuss as the story itself.  The transitions used to keep the program moving rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays its own important piece in the program’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make American Experience: The Race Underground another welcome episode of PBS’ hit history-based series and one more of this year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: The Race Underground is a program that will appeal just as much to everyday audiences as it will the people who run America’s major metropolitan regions.  It is a presentation that those audiences will want to *ahem* race to see.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  The story at the center of the program is just one of the elements that makes it such an interesting presentation.  A close, analytical viewing of this episode of American Experience reveals to be a two-part tale.  The primary story presented in this program shows, of course, the birth and evolution of America’s subway systems.  On another level, it presents a story of one man’s dream realized and denied.

The primary story presented in this episode follows the evolution of America’s subway system from a mere dream in Frank Sprague’s mind to one of the most revolutionary means of transportation (if not the single most revolutionary) at the time.  That in itself is its own intriguing history lesson.  The secondary story shows how Sprague’s dream has obviously become realized through the growing evolution of subway transportation across the country (and even across the world) yet denied because he never got the full credit he deserved for his invention thanks to one Thomas Edison.  That story, when coupled with the program’s main story, becomes the stuff of major Hollywood blockbusters.  The combination of those two stories into one whole is just one part of what makes this episode of American Experience such an interesting documentary.  The information that is presented within those stories is just as important to note in examining the program’s presentation as the stories themselves.

The stories that form the foundation of American Experience: The Race Underground are in themselves key to this program’s overall presentation.  That is because they make the program just as interesting as any major historically-based blockbuster ever churned out by Hollywood’s “Big Six” studios.  While they are critical to the program’s presentation, they are not its only key elements.  The information provided within the stories is what makes the stories so interesting.  One of the most intriguing pieces of information that audiences learn over the course of the episode’s nearly hour-long run time is that even after Sprague’s idea was finally taken on by the city of Boston, it didn’t just fly right through.  Instead, there was a lot of opposition from the city’s residents.  That created quite a rift between the city’s residents and its government.  Just as interesting to learn is that for many people, their opposition was based on puritanical religious beliefs.  For others, the opposition rose from concerns about where the city wanted to run the subway.  Even more interesting to learn is that if not for Sprague’s success with his experiment in Richmond, there’s no telling how long it would have taken for America’s first subway station to be developed or where.  So really, while Boston had the first subway system, Richmond should really take credit for being the true birthplace of American’s first subway system.  It’s like the battle between North Carolina and Ohio over which is the true birthplace of aviation.  This is all just the tip of the proverbial iceberg with this story’s information.  Audiences will be shocked to learn that despite the eventual success of the new subway system, Sprague’s dream ultimately was denied thanks to his company being bought out by none other than Thomas Edison.  That ultimately denied Srpague the fame and wealth that he could have had, and shows yet again how Edison profited off of someone else’s success rather than his own.  Between this revelation, the others already noted and so many others, it becomes clear why the information shared throughout this program is so important to its presentation.  When all of that information is coupled with the program’s two-part story, the end result is one that will most definitely keep audiences enthralled right to the end.  Interestingly enough, it still is not the last element to note in examining the program’s overall presentation.  The program’s transitions are just as important to note as its stories and its breadth of information.

The stories shared throughout the course of American Experience: The Race Underground and their companion information are both key pieces of the program’s overall presentation.  Both by themselves and together, they are certain to keep audience engaged from beginning to end.  While they are both clearly important in their own right to the program’s presentation, one cannot ignore the importance of the program’s transitions in keeping audiences’ attention, too.  The transitions used to advance the story are clear and concise from one segment to the next.  They are basic fade-ins and fade-outs. Their placement comes at all of the proper spots, too, never leaving audiences hanging at the end of any segment.  They aren’t hard fades, either.  Rather, they are smooth fades, and in turn make stopping and starting between segments so easy.  The thought put into those transitions adds one more layer of enjoyment to the program’s presentation.  When set against the program’s equally interesting stories and companion information, the whole of the elements makes this program one to which audiences will “race” themselves to watch.  They combine to make it a work that will “race” up any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: The Race Underground is just the latest episode of PBS’ hit history-based series to be released so far in this still young year.  Even being so new to home release, it can be said that it is certain to “race” up any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

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PBS Announces Home Release Date For Upcoming ‘AmEx’ Mini-Series

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Public Media Distribution will release a special American Experience mini-series on DVD this Spring.

American Experience: The Great War will be released on Tuesday, May 16th.  The six-hour event will be spread across three discs and will retail for MSRP of $34.99.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $29.99.

The mini-series follow’s America’s neutrality to its eventual entry into what was then known as “The Great War.”  It tells the story of the nation’s involvement from a variety of angles.  Those angles include the experiences of African-Americans, Native American Code Talkers, Latino soldiers, suffragists and others.

The program also examines the leadership of then President Woodrow Wilson as he led America during the world’s first major global conflict.  This angle also examines how the nation’s entry in to the war led to one of the biggest crackdowns on Americans’ civil liberties in the nation’s history along with other items.

American Experience: The Great War premieres on PBS stations nationwide on Monday, April 10 and runs through Wednesday April 12.  Each of the mini-series’ two-hour episodes will run from 9 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET.  Audiences should check their local listings for variations in those times.

A trailer for the upcoming event is streaming online now here.  More information on this extended episode of American Experience is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperiencePBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.