Sweeney Todd

Oct 12th, 2005, 07:56 AM
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Sweeney Todd

Just back from a quick trip to NYC. Chose Sweeney Todd since mrlou saw it with Angela Lansbury years ago. This is surely not Angela's Sweeney Todd! They've stripped away the set, the barbers chair, the orchestra, the meastro, the chorus....everything. What's left is an intriguing reinterpretation with Sodheim's blessing. The cast is the orchestra on this very busy onesetter. Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris do not dissappoint. Everyone is wonderfully talented. Will the show be a hit? Very hard to say. In previews, it is thankfully still a work in progress. The parts I didn't enjoy still earned my respect for what they were attempting and accomplishing.

If you're looking for a good old musical, keep looking. However, Patrick and Howard and other theatre lovers should definately give this avente garde approach a shot. Truly glad we saw it, liked it, respected it, but didn't love it.

Ate a Blue Fin. Entree's were lovely. Service inept, but endearingly forgivable.
gyppielou is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 11:33 AM
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Thanks, gyppielou, for the review. As a huge fan of Sweeney Todd, it's on our list. I know that he was a new rethinking of the show based on a successful London version. Should be most interesting to see how much it differs from last version we saw at the NY City Opera last year!
HowardR is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 04:07 PM
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HowardR is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Thanks for the review! I'm going next Thursday, and really don't know what to expect. They have certainly chosen a concept- whether or not it works remain to be seen!
TarheelsInNj is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 07:53 PM
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Please check back with your thoughts!
gyppielou is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 02:39 AM
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We saw Angela in the original in New York and like many shows I suppose this version will always have to "live up" to the Lansbury edition in some people's minds.

Me, I'm waiting for the "reaction" to the scenic "concept" of "The Woman in White" which someone on this board saw in London (after I did) and complained that it made them "dizzy."
Voyager2006 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 08:09 AM
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Well, I saw Sweeney last night, and I have to admit, it's not really my cup of tea. Sweeney in general is a bit too gruesome for me to enjoy However, the audience was very receptive and seemed to enjoy it.

The friend I was with commented that it was in some ways similar to Marat/Sade, which was an interesting thought. As the OP mentioned, there is no set to speak of, and the entire cast is onstage throughout the piece- sometimes in the forefront as a character, other times as an orchestra member. I have to admit, Patti LuPone and her tuba was a priceless sight There were some very interesting sound and lighting choices.

This is definitely an avant garde approach, and if you're a Sondheim fan, it is definitely worth seeing. It is a complete departure from the original production, and really puts the music center stage. I can't say that I was transported to the setting (old London), but that's not really the point of this production. In many ways it is an experimental theatre piece, and you'll have to make your own judgment to decide if you enjoy it.
TarheelsInNj is offline  
Oct 25th, 2005, 01:50 PM
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Interesting review
gyppielou is offline  
Oct 31st, 2005, 04:24 AM
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I saw Sweeney Todd this past weekend, and agree with gyppielou's review, although I did not see the original with Lansbury. Patti LuPone and MIchael Cerveris are excellent. I did not love it, but I think I'm glad I saw it. On a different note, had dinner at Le Madeleine--it was a return visit; the food was very good, the service was terrible. In fact, the first waiter we had was, I'm sure, drunk or high; he was replaced finally, and things got a little bit better.
LuvMaine is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2005, 03:41 AM
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Saw it last night. Absolutely loved it. I have seen Sweeney at least 8 times, one of my favorite musicals of all time. Saw it at the Arden in Philly last summer (that was the last time). I loved the minimalist approach. It conjures up so much from the imagination and past productions to fill in the blanks. Everyone sees the show differently.
I think this has a limited audience though. I don't think it will lure in the tourist crowd. This is really for the diehards. I mean, I don't even need the stage--just throw Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris on a bench in bathrobes and let them sing. Fine by me, and still worth 100 bucks.
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