Friday, March 14, 2008

Sweeney Todd The Way It Should Be

I had an excellent trip home last December. It was the first time I was there for over a week and didn't want to murder everyone by the time I left. If there was a low point to the trip however, it was probably when I went to see Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd at the Cinerama Dome. The dome, as usual, was great; the film, was wretched.

I cannot remember the last time I fell asleep during a movie - not even Old School and a bag full of Wild Turkey nips could do me in - but Sweeney made me all sleepers. Somehow I imagine that wouldn't be the case with John Doyle's production of Todd at the Ahmanson.

From Laist:

Written by Stephen Sondheim, the original "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" is a classic. The most recent Tim Burton screen adaptation of Edward Scissorhands the musical was "meh." And last night's Los Angeles premiere under John Doyle's direction was, simply put, purely amazing.
It begins as the lights go down in the house and up on stage. It's an uncomfortable raw silence that the audience succumbs to. There's no sound, no music, just the actors, looking out into nothingness from a set that was minimalist and visually orgasmic for the macabre-inclined. The performance begins, every actor with their instrument in hand, they speak, they sing and they accompany themselves, as the orchestra pit is empty -- it's up to the ten characters to survive the next two-hours on their own.

Laist also has three links to audio podcasts with the actors who play Joanna, The Beadle, and Musical Director Andy Einhorn. If you're in Los Angeles any time between now and April 3rd, this is pretty much a must do.

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