Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sondheim

Had one of those magical only-in-Manhattan days today. Starting the day very early in line for "Wall to Wall Sondheim" a 12 hour extravaganza @ Symphony Space on the Upper West Side. A free event so you know it was a madhouse and the wait was looooooong. Spent two and a half hours freezing outside than three and a half hours inside listening to selections from the most impressive songbook of, well, practically anyone ever. We had the early morning session which had Into the Woods, Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and A Little Night Music in heavy rotation.

But for the purposes of this blog I just wanted to note that during the interview with Sondheim he did talk about the upcoming Sam Mendes directedSweeney Todd movie. Sondheim complemented the script (by Jon Logan of The Aviator fame) and Sam Mendes. He went on to say that they (Logan and Mendes) had a very specific idea about Sweeney Todd 'not just structural' --Sondheim obviously knew way more than he was telling---and than he said that the film was now in the hands of an actor that they all hope will do it. Of course he failed to name the actor so now my little brain is scanning all major male stars (who else would you put your important project "in the hands of") with musical ability who might appeal to studios, Sondheim, and Mendes. It's a tough guessing game.

Any one have an idea who it might be?

23 comments:

Nick Davis said...

My guess is Kevin Spacey, who we know is a singer and a hoofer with Broadway cred, and whose star wattage has unexpectedly dimmed since his last collab with Mendes. They need each other. Plus, he's kind of a marketable name for the kinds of people who'll see Sweeney Todd to begin with.

adam k. said...

Um, Hugh Jackman anyone? I guess Kevin Spacey may be the more logical choice, given his history with Mendes, but I immediately thought Jackman. There's Kevin Kline to consider, also.

Anonymous said...

I too thought of Jackman, but then I remembered that he has gone into a multi-picture deal with a studio (Disney?) to star in a bunch of musicals.

...?


-Glenn

Anonymous said...

From a good source --it's definitely Russell Crowe.

Nick Davis said...

Russell!! < slurp >
I've been wondering when/if we'd be able to see his purported song 'n' dance skillz. Not the 50 Odd Foot of Grunts stuff, the Rocky Horror Down Under stuff. Actually, I'd be happy to see any stuff Russell's got.

Though the idea of Kevin Kline sort of spiked my interest, I must admit.

Nick Davis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

As an Australian I appologise in advance if Russell is horrible.

Although it is true he was in Rocky Horror, that's like saying Renee Zellweger was in Chicago.

It don't necessarily mean they can belt out a tune.

30 Odd Foot of Grunt should be forever ignored in the annals of contemporary music.

Having said that, I like Russell! His early Australian stuff is great! Check it out. "Proof" (from the director of the ill-fated Eucalyptus, starring Hugo Weaving!) being the best of the bunch.

-Glenn

NATHANIEL R said...

Glenn,
Hear hear on "Proof" I saw this movie around the time of LA Confidential to see more of 'this Crowe guy' and it's an intriguing movie.

Anonymous said...

Jim Carrey.

Jake said...

i would have to say spacey is logical. though i am scared to see a movie with him in it since he has basically had two great performances and marred everything else in his path. but this seems like the logical choice; i have never liked crowe really but i guess he could bring considerable grit to this darker musical.

adam k. said...

One might say Kevin Spacey is rather like the Hilary Swank of male actors? One note only (smarmy guy or tough chick) but a very strong note, and two oscars each to show for it. OK, maybe Spacey is better than Swank, but I see a correlation here.

Nick said...

I can't remember whether it was just a rumor or someone's wishful thinking but I recall hearing something about both Russell Crowe and Imelda Staunton possibly starring.

ryan said...

wow - if Imelda can sing (who knew?) she'd be perfect. Mr. Crow, well, I'll state my reservations now. Steve (aka god of musical theater) was certainly being coy about the whole thing - actually hard to tell whether he was actually pleased about developments or was just being politic....

Anonymous said...

Nat,
Glad you enjoyed Proof, it's a very Australian movie with an Australian sense of humour. I still LOVE the car crash scene. "I'M BLIND!"

I saw it when I was younger and not a cinema type and didn't like it that much but saw it again a few years ago for a school assignment and loved it.

Russell makes great movies and I don't understand it when people complain. I'd rather live in a world with "The Sum of Us" "Proof" "Master & Commander" "Romper Stomper""The Insider" and "LA Confidential" exist than to not have Russell around. Whatever...

On Sweeny Todd, Nick, I too have heard the Imelda Staunton rumour! So it's not just you.

And Nat, again, this is completely off topic but I thought you'd enjoy this bit of box-office news.

"Finishing in a surprise eleventh spot is the Joan Allen/Kevin Costner movie The Upside of Anger. Despite being at only 153 venues this weekend, Upside still earned $1.9 million, giving it a hot venue average of $12,666 (about $1,850 better than The Ring Two). The small New Line Release has earned $2.2 million, and should expand wide in the next couple of weeks."

Excellent, non? A success over there means it'll be released within a few months over here!

-Glenn

par3182 said...

Way back in the day I saw a production of 'Rocky Horror' in Sydney (a hunky friend of mine was playing Rocky - mmm) and Russell Crowe was in the cast as Eddie/Dr Scott - but on the night I was there the actor playing Franknfurter was off, and Crowe was his understudy and did a damn fine job as the transexual Translavanian.
This was many many years before he became the most obnoxious man on the planet but he has the goods.
That being said, I'd prefer Jackman.

NATHANIEL R said...

It is fact that Imelda can sing --She was in the London cast of Into the Woods among other things and is said to be marvelous.

Sondheim was being coy. The comment about the actor sounded genuine but the comment about their "specific idea about it --not just structural" did sound ambiguous as in maybe he's not so pleased.

Ashley F. said...

Crowe would be perfect... just the masculine/horrible intensity needed for this. Jackman could probably do it.....Spacey would be awfull as Sweeney..his performance would be sly,smarmy, and like Bill Murray's fabulous indifference in his Santori Times commerical in Lost in Translation...Staunton would be pure pleasure as Mrs Lovett....

Anonymous said...

The UK Daily Mail said Russell Crowe was considering doing the part. Is that the reliable source? The entertainment reporter who wrote it is known to be somewhat reliable.

When Crowe did Rocky Horror, that was live musical theater, not the same at all as Renee in Chicago. For movies, they can use a recording studio and use technology to improve the singing.

Crowe is no opera singer, however, so I'm wondering what they expect for the part? If it's something a little rougher to fit a darker-themed movie and visuals, and not the polished and glossy perfection of the Broadway stage version, then Crowe would be an interesting choice. He would be my choice, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Sondheim has always envisioned Sweeney Todd as a chamber piece and less of the full-blown operatic production that graced Broadway when it opened and is put on by opera companies across the country. For example, the upcoming Broadway revival featuring only 9 actors who also play the instruments is reportedly one of his favorite productions. With that in mind and the advantages a smaller more intimate interpretation would have for a film transfer, Crowe might be a good choice.

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