The entertaining PBS portrait of composer Marvin Hamlisch, aptly titled, "What He Did For Love," provides the music, his method for creating it, and the man. Fortunately for producer Dori Berinstein, and for us, Hamlisch was often photographed and the footage of him performing, accepting awards, Pulitzer, Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, so much a part of our recent cultural history, makes our loss all the more poignant: he died a little more than a year ago at age 68, clearly with much more music to give.
The documentary limns his career; he was a progeny at Julliard, accompanied the great singers of his time including Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Aretha Franklin, and starting with the hit "Sunshine, Lollypops and Rainbows," was a master of the popular song. Other highlights include his collaboration with Michael Bennett and Ed Kleban on the groundbreaking musical, "A Chorus Line." Passionate that young people learn about Broadway, he devoted time to teaching. Susan Lacy, former executive director of American Masters introduced the documentary at a recent special screening at the Paley Center. Hamlisch's family and friends attended including Quincy Jones, Baayork Lee, Maury Yeston, and his widow, Terre Blair Hamlisch. The reception, featuring mountains of his favorite desserts, was a kids' paradise of marzipan cookies, lollypops, and petit fours.
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