Whoopi Goldberg’s Broadway show

Some years back, I bought or was given the VHS version of the 1985 HBO special broadcast of Whoopi Goldberg's one-woman Broadway show.

I watched it a few times over the years; I found that it was a nicely cathartic balm for grief. Mary Anne and I watched it in 2001, for example, shortly after the scattering of Alex's ashes (hard to believe it's been over ten years), and the mix of laughter and tears helped.

But it's been a while since I've set up my VCR. So a couple weeks ago I was looking at my shelf of useless VHS tapes—I've been waiting for the movies in question to come out on Blu-ray before replacing them (I'm astonished that Singin' in the Rain and The English Patient aren't yet out on Blu-ray, for example), and I decided that for a couple of the movies that are less popular, I might as well just order them on DVD, 'cause it's probably gonna be a long wait for the Blu-ray versions.

And when I saw that Back to Broadway, a 2-DVD set of the 1985 show and the 20th anniversary sequel/update, was available for five bucks from Amazon, it seemed like an obvious choice.

Meant to watch it on the 11th, but didn't get home ’til very late. Saturday night, I needed something funny to watch, so I watched the 1985 show. (I've heard that the 20th anniversary show isn't as good.)

I didn't find it as funny as I used to. There are still lines that made me laugh, but I think most of it is familiar enough to me by now to not have the same humor effect that it used to for me.

But it still made me cry.

This time through, I didn't love it as much as I used to. And there are a couple of bits that are potentially politically problematic. And I gather that the original HBO version was longer; I'm not sure what, if anything, got cut. (I don't remember the VHS version that well.)

But it's still really good, and worth watching.

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