The Plot and Such: In this made-for-tv version of the Stephen Sondheim musical, a young poet (Anthony Perkins) hides in a department store after hours and decides to live there, only to discover a miniature society of people already living there. He falls in love with their young maid, Ella (Charmian Carr). The society forbids their relationship, and he tries to give her the courage to leave with him.
I’m not a huge fan of musical theater, but I am a fan of Anthony Perkins, and the idea of this story–a poet decides to live in a department store and discovers a group of people already living there–appealed to me. For as much as such a thing is possible in musical theater, Perkins turns in a believable performance in a fairly unbelievable situation. In case it’s not obvious, he was really pigeon-holed after Psycho. Upon sight (though not in the clip below) you will recognize Charmian Carr as the actress who plays Liesl in The Sound of Music. Her Ella is a lot like her Liesl, but that serves the story well enough.