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Ben Vereen : the hard way

Author: Kevin Huffman; Tom Seligson; Arts and Entertainment Network.
Publisher: U.S. : A & E Network, ©2000.
Series: Biography.
Edition/Format:   VHS video : VHS tape : NTSC color broadcast system   Visual material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Biography of actor, dancer, and singer Ben Vereen, as told in his own words and those of his family, friends, colleagues, and observers. The program begins by exploring the hardships of his childhood in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y. ; his education at the High School of Performing Arts ; and his break into show business in Bob Fosse's Las Vegas production of Sweet Charity. Performance excerpts and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Video
Interviews
Biography
Named Person: Ben Vereen; Ben Vereen; Mel Watkins; Bob Fosse; Sammy Davis, Jr.; Tom O'Horgan; Ann Reinking; Glynn Turman; Bert Williams; Leslie Uggams; Gregory Hines; Marijeanne Liederbach
Material Type: Videorecording
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: Kevin Huffman; Tom Seligson; Arts and Entertainment Network.
OCLC Number: 47761417
Credits: Executive producer, Tom Seligson ; supervising senior producer, Brett Alexander ; original music, Max Surla.
Performer(s): [Host:] Harry Smith.
Interviewees: Ben Vereen, Mel Watkins, Andrea Townsley Vereen, Leonard Jordan, Aixa Clemente, Tom O'Horgan, David Sheehan, Ann Reinking, Glynn Turman, Malaika Vereen, Kabara Vereen, Leslie Uggams, Karon Vereen, David Foster, Dr. Gill Cryer, Marijeanne Liederbach.
Narrator: Anthony Mason.
Event notes: Telecast on October 10, 2000.
Description: 1 videocassette (51 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences NTSC ; 1/2 in. (VHS)
Series Title: Biography.
Responsibility: produced by CBS News Productions for A & E Network ; produced by Kevin Huffman.

Abstract:

Biography of actor, dancer, and singer Ben Vereen, as told in his own words and those of his family, friends, colleagues, and observers. The program begins by exploring the hardships of his childhood in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y. ; his education at the High School of Performing Arts ; and his break into show business in Bob Fosse's Las Vegas production of Sweet Charity. Performance excerpts and still photos depict the highlights of his career in the theater, film and television: Golden boy (with Sammy Davis, Jr.), Hair (directed by Tom O'Horgan), Charles Gordone's play No place to be somebody, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, his television variety show Comin' at ya, Funny lady (the film sequel to Funny girl, with Barbra Streisand), the television series Roots, and Fosse's autobiographical film All that jazz. Also discussed is the controversy aroused by his performances as Bert Williams, an African-American comedian who often appeared in blackface. The program also traces a difficult period in Vereen's life, beginning with his daughter's death in a traffic accident, his use of drugs to assuage his grief, and his severe injuries in a freak accident in the street. His rehabilitation and subsequent triumph in the musical Jelly's last jam, with Gregory Hines, followed by a montage of his life achievements, close the program.

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