Friday, October 14, 2005

Sweeney Todd

So, I took in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street last night. It opens proper on November 3rd. I had been worried about Patti Lupone as Mrs Lovett but my worries were for naught. Though the part hardly demands "restraint" Lupone's natural performance style is, from my way of thinking, so broad that I thought her meat pies would be overdone. Not so much. They taste just right. She and Michael Cerveris, both of them Tony winners and likely to be nominated again for this production, were both terrific in the famous leading roles.

I'm familiar with the score but this was my first experience seeing an actual production of Sweeney Todd so I can't compare it to anything. I don't know how it measures up. But for me it worked like gangbusters in this stripped down version. The set, featuring unusually vertical staging, never changes. The actors are the orchestra. And wonder of wonders it's not overmic'ed like so many Broadway shows. But it's thrilling. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. I couldn't even breathe towards the end. Highly recommended

p.s. If they ever do make a movie of this musical as they've been threatening to for years (Jarhead director Sam Mendes currently has dibs) and it's well done and well cast, whoever plays Mrs. Lovett will win the Oscar. It's a huge juicy comic practically co-lead role and you know how they love those in the supporting categories.

5 comments:

OhMyTrill said...

Try the Sweeney recording with the New York Phil, Patti Lupone and George Hearn...its absolutely fabulous...my favorite show!

Brad said...

Yeah! I was thinking this would be right up your alley. Glad you liked it. I think it's a thrilling production.

adam k. said...

Nathaniel! "Sweeney Todd" is not an actress!

You tease.

damion said...

Saw the production in London, with a diferent cast... it blew me away!

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