THE FOLLOWING THREE PERFORMANCE DVDs ARE NOW AVAILABLE!
Each of the three Performance DVD Versions of THE WILDE SPIRIT are very different, hence the reason for offering all three of them to the public, as each version has its own merits and each has differences in the performance and presentation.
The 1990 Version, Live From Provincetown: Standing Room Only
This DVD is digitally remastered from a videotape of a 1990 live performance before a standing-room-only audience, during the first season of the play's historic three-year run at the Unitarian-Universalist Meeting House in Provincetown, MA. In this case, the original video, as shot in association with Cablevision and originally broadcast throughout New England during the fall of 1990, was converted to HD quality and Dolby Sound was added to restore this performance video to its original broadcast quality. This version was recorded and filmed in a very intimate setting, and is the shortest and most concise version of the play, running only one hour and thirty-seven minutes. The 1990 version is a superb example of how well the show was presented in its earlier and shorter form, prior to many rewrites, and how the play was received throughout its long history of engagements, from the play's early award-winning and critically-acclaimed run in Los Angeles, from 1977-1978, through and including this performance in 1990, and continuing on into 1992, when Kerry Ashton rewrote and reworked much of the play. This version has the least sophisticated costuming and set design of the three DVDs, however the exuberance and charm of Ashton's performance in this version, and his rapport with the audience, are really something to see.
The 1992 Version, Live From Provincetown: The Musical
This DVD, also digitally remastered, is taken from a videotape of a live performance, also before a standing-room-only crowd, during the fall of 1992, near the end of the play's three-year historic run at the Meeting House in Provincetown. In this case, HD and Dolby Sound were utilized to restore this performance video to its original broadcast quality. Like the first version, this DVD was recorded and filmed in a very intimate setting. This DVD, however, is the only fully MUSICAL version of the play, and this is the only version where Kerry Ashton sings all of the songs he wrote for the show, rather than talking his way thru most of the song lyrics. This version also includes all of a great many moments that were underscored musically for the first time by Ashton's music. This version also features many new rewrites to the script. Though this version was performed on the same stage as the 1990 version, the 1992 version features an even more elaborate, ornate and sophisticated costume and set design, as well as changes in Ashton's approach to the character of Wilde. This is the only version of the three DVDs that includes the full Entr-Acte during Intermission, which features a slideshow of performance photographs as well as many of the reviews of the play during its three-year run in Provincetown. Many who have seen all three DVD Performance videos of the play, prefer this version, perhaps because it is the one where Ashton's beautiful songs can be most fully appreciated. This DVD Performance runs two hours and seventeen minutes.
The 1996 Version: A Recording of the Off-Broadway Performance
Recorded live in 1996 before an invited audience, and filmed by a professional film crew on the Off-Broadway set at Theatre-Off-Park, Waverly Place, New York City, this DVD, also digitally remastered and enhanced for audio and video, features the play as it was restaged by Kerry Ashton, after the show had closed its Off-Broadway run. In essence, this is the version of the play that he wanted his Off-Broadway audiences to see. This DVD also features all of Ashton's final rewrites and changes to the play, and best reflects the definitive and final version of the play that was published in 2013. Unlike the other two versions, where Ashton chose to present Wilde not as Wilde appeared in life, but unexpectedly with facial hair, as Wilde's Ghost might, in this DVD, Kerry Ashton looks precisely like Oscar Wilde, utilizing a wig and make-up to transform himself into the full realization of Wilde in the flesh. This version also features the most sophisticated and professional elements of design, not merely in the lighting, music, sound effects, set and costume design, but also in the use of rear and front projections. This DVD also incorporates and integrates historical photographs and images from Wilde's life, including photographs of his wife and children, and Wilde's male lovers and so much more. This version also showcases a more mature as well as understated performance, in both the writing and the acting, with Ashton choosing often a more subtle approach in this performance as Wilde, as compared to the earlier versions of the play. Many who have seen all three DVD Performance videos of the play, prefer this version, perhaps because it is the most fully-realized, in style and execution, of Ashton's vision of Oscar Wilde. This version runs two hours and sixteen minutes.
DVD 1990 Live From Provincetown
DVD 1992 Provincetown