Sweeney Todd (2008) – Theatre Review

Sweeney Todd Tour poster

National Tour
Seen in Atlanta, Georgia, May 28, 2008

Lyrics & Music by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by John Doyle
Starring Judy Kaye, David Hess, Keith Buterbaugh, Benjamin Magnuson, Lauren Molina

So after seeing the John Doyle production in New York and finding it the singular best theatre experience I’ve had in years, I was happy as hell to hear it was going out on tour. Because there are many people who need to see this–and if you haven’t, then you’re one of them. I won’t go into too much about the show itself or even this interpretation–because it’s the same show I saw, with the same set, just on tour with a slightly different cast–and you can read my review of that here. But part of what you have to understand is that there’s no orchestra for this production–the cast is also the orchestra. Also, it’s interesting to note that–if I’m remembering correctly–Edmund Bagnell as Tobias is the only cast member to not have come from standby/understudy status on the Broadway revival, or been imported from Doyle’s other recent revival triumph, Company.

(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:18:23+00:00 June 1st, 2008|Reviews|0 Comments

Win Company on Blu-Ray!

Company: A Musical Comedy Blu-Ray Cover Art

The Tony winner for Best Musical Revival, it’s John Doyle’s revamped version of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. For those who don’t know what that means, it’s a crazed theatre genius’ idea: the cast is also the orchestra. No, really. Image Entertainment has sent us three copies of the Blu-Ray edition of the musical, and we saw it live–it’s spectacular.

If you want to win, you have to enter. And you can enter once a day–so get to it, amigos.
(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:18:28+00:00 May 30th, 2008|Contests|1 Comment

Win Sweeney Todd on DVD

Sweeney Todd DVD cover art

The Sondheim musical that manages to evoke feelings of horror and comedy (and that’s just from looking at the musical score) hit the big screen at last, starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and directed by Tim Burton. Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, and Sacha Baron Cohen are along for the ride as well.

It’s Sweeney Todd, and as far as Hollywood movie musicals about mass homicide and cannibalism go, it simply can’t be beat.

If you want to win a copy, we can help out with that. I happen to have two here and you can snag one. Proceed to win.

(more…)

By | 2008-05-25T02:47:50+00:00 April 3rd, 2008|Contests|4 Comments

Today is For Amy

Company

Very recently, I saw the revival of Stephen Sondheim‘s Company, directed by John Doyle, the same genius who did the Sweeney Todd revival. Sondheim on his easiest day is difficult. That being said, the payoff for his stuff is amazing, still it’s not something you would want to walk in, join the chorus of a show, and try to learn in two weeks–I’ve done that, and I really don’t advise it.

Anyway, we’ll get to the vid I found on Mark Evanier’s site in a moment. I want to give you an opportunity to appreciate the song itself, one of the most difficult of Sondheim’s difficult stable of work. And, brilliant, there’s a bunch of different performances online:

Here’s the setup. Amy and Paul are getting married. Amy is having… a slight anxiety attack.

Here’s Madeline Kahn as Amy (Update for replaced version of the vid: after a performance of “Loveland” from Follies):

Direct link for the feedreaders.
(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:24:13+00:00 December 9th, 2007|Stimuli|0 Comments

Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou Reprise Todd: What is That?

Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd

Nice. Stumbled across this on YouTube: Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou are back in their roles as the original Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd, respectively, for Sondheim‘s 75th birthday concert from last year. Not of bad voice either of them, all things considered: especially Lansbury, who pops right back into character and pretty much nails it. Fun as hell.
(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:38:58+00:00 October 19th, 2006|Stimuli|0 Comments

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp to Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd

Meatpie

Yeah, I know everybody’s already reporting this, but hell. Johnny Depp‘s Todd and Tim Burton‘s in the chair.

Can Depp sing? If he can, then I’m not worried about him in the least.

As for Burton, as long as we’ve got the Big Fish and Ed Wood Burton and not the Apes or Sleepy Hollow Burton, then I think we’re in good shape.

My review of the kickass current revival on Broadway is here.
(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:41:22+00:00 August 18th, 2006|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

Sweeney Todd (2005) – Theatre Review

Sweeney Todd revival poster

Theatre folks know Sweeney Todd well. The really twisted ones among us know it well and enjoy the hell out of it, for many reasons: the gallows humor and the straight-up gallows; Sondheim being 110% Sondheim; and, well, we just dig things with “demon” in the title. Some of us are so weird we think about rock versions of the musical. And we all are quite familiar with the Len Cariou/Angela Lansbury version, played big with a tremendous body count, bright whites to get a bit of red on, and so forth. Some of us have been lucky enough to be in a production of the show (myself included).

John Doyle, however, has taken the production in an entirely different direction. It’s one thing to say you’re reviving Todd. It’s another to say you’re doing it completely stripped down to the point where the company is ten people. But we all sit up and pay attention when you say something as daft as, “Well, he’s stripped the whole damn orchestra out of it as well–the ten people on stage are both actors and orchestra.” I’m sorry…what was that?

(more…)

By | 2017-09-24T23:45:10+00:00 May 31st, 2006|Reviews|1 Comment