This movie is a recorded performance in concert. It all begins when Benjamin Barker( George Hearn), a mysterious,quiet,and subtle barber, returns to his hometown in London after escaping ... See full summary »
Following five couples and their friend Robert (Neil Patrick Harris), the perpetual bachelor, Company explores the true meaning of being in a relationship through a series of vignettes. ... See full summary »
Neil Patrick Harris,
Steve Thompson is a sixteen-year-old who seemed to have everything going for him: good looks, friends, and a great personality. But his once bright future is tragically dimmed after a car accident brings all this to a crashing halt.
Neil Patrick Harris,
When Hannah Pinkham's fiancé writes he's finally shipping home, her mother makes a fairy tale wedding dress, but while she's fitting it the knock on the door is not him, but the dreaded ... See full summary »
Neil Patrick Harris,
It's 1846. Sweeney Todd and Anthony Hope, greeted only by a crazed beggar woman, sail into London, where Todd implies he has been before but not in quite some time. Todd heads to his old ... See full summary »
The fictional tale of the murderous 19th century barber (Ben Kinglsey) who sold his kills to a neighboring butcher (Joanna Lumley) for her renowned meat pies. A young innocent (Selina ... See full summary »
This movie is a recorded performance in concert. It all begins when Benjamin Barker( George Hearn), a mysterious,quiet,and subtle barber, returns to his hometown in London after escaping from a prison in Australia with help from a young sailor named Anthony. Now Sweeney Todd, he returns to his home where he and his wife Lucie and daughter Johanna used to live. When he arrives he meets Mrs. Nellie Lovett(Patti Lupone), a lonely woman who owns a down and out pie shop, and discovers that his wife has poisoned herself and the judge that unfairly punished him is responsible and the judge also has his daughter. So then Sweeney plots his revenge on the judge and his accomplice the Beadle and with help from Mrs. Lovett he re-opens his barber shop and vows to give the judge the closest shave he will ever know and give Mrs. Lovett a tasty new ingredient for her homemade meat pies. Written by
The original Broadway production starring Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou opened at the Uris Theater on February 6, 1979, ran for 557 performances and won the 1979 Tony Awards for the Best Musical, Book and Score. See more »
Excellent production of one of Sondheim's masterpieces
You either love Sondheim or you hate him (although few of the arguments for hating him hold water, In My Anything But Humble Opinion). Certainly his darkest work and arguably his best, Sweeney Todd is an exploration of the depths to which a man will sink to wreak vengeance on those who have wronged him.
With all respect to Len Cariou, who created the role in the original production, George Hearn is and always will be the definitive Sweeney Todd. There are things he does that I don't even think he's consciously aware of anymore, but are absolutely chilling to watch. Patti Lupone has the thankless task of trying to follow the immortal Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett; she carries it off by making almost completely different dramatic choices and playing her strengths (like Meryl Streep, she's got one of the best deadpans in the business, and lines that Lansbury played for laughs, Lupone plays straight--we still laugh, but for different reasons). The rest of the cast acquit themselves beautifully, particularly Davis Gaines as the lovestruck Anthony Hope and Victoria Clark as the crazed Beggar Woman.
But the real surprise of the cast is Neil Patrick Harris as the innocent, waiflike Tobias Ragg. Having played the part myself, I have a bad habit of holding other actors to impossible standards--and Harris not only meets them, he flattens them. Instead of watching him and thinking, "I could have done that," I found myself watching him and saying "I wish I'd done that"--something I've never been able to say in any other production.
The score is as close to grand opera as Sondheim gets, and the gems--"A Little Priest", "Not While I'm Around", "Johanna", "Wait," and the act II quartet sparkle as brightly as I've ever heard them.
13 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?