Monday, September 20, 2010

Repost - Dark Monday - Sweeney Todd

sweeney todd sweeney todd,angela lansbury,george hearn
sweeney todd,angela lansbury sweeney todd,angela lansbury,george hearn
George Hearn and Angela Lansbury in the Original Broadway production. Originally posted 08/17/09.

I saw this show in previews, and it was just magical. This was back in 1979, and I was already a fan of composer Stephen Sondheim, one of the most brilliant minds the theater has known. I went with a college theater group I was part of, and we went for a four-day trip, seeing 6 shows in that time. It was an insane schedule, but also amazing, seeing Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Back then, when I was working in the theater, there were basically two camps when it came to musical theater - you were a fan of Sondheim, or you loved Andrew Lloyd Webber - and never the twain shall meet. We Sondheim fans believed the Webber fans were just populist, non-thinking idiots who went for spectacle over content. Webber fans thought we Sondheim fans were intellectual elitists, and I think both groups were correct.

sweeney todd,johnny depp sweeney todd,patti lupone,michael cerveris Sweeney Todd - Merritt David Janes sweeney todd
A variety of people have played in Sweeney Todd, from famous to not-so-much.

If you saw the movie with Johnny Depp, it was well done, but the Broadway show was oh so much better. I remember sitting in the audience that first time [I saw it more than once], and the orchestra started playing...



That damn factory whistle nearly had me jumping out of my skin. That opening created a tension that held fast throughout the show. Later in the show, Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett had to figure out what do do with the dead bodies, since leaving them lay around wouldn't be good as she ran a meat-pie shoppe. So here is Angela Lansbury and George Hearn coming up with a solution in A Little Priest.



The show was just brilliant.

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