Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sweeney Todd

I attended the tale tonight.

At first, it all seemed so cool and promising. The actors are the singers and the instrumentalists for the entire play, served up all Brechtian and stagey in this declamatory (yet annoyingly academic) way. Soon enough, you realize that Patti Lupone playing a tuba, while basically hilarious, is something best left for a skit on Saturday Night Live.

The whole thing seemed like the misbegotten wayward child of some mad creative director. Though it was interesting, I think it would have worked best in someone's living room, as a little jokey show for a macabre birthday party.

When will people let Brecht die? Is there anyone who wants to try something new? Or will it be all ripped stockings and bowler hats forever?

3 comments:

HelenBach said...

Wow. I'm shocked. Hummm. Interesting. At the risk of being too bold, I'm wondering if you're not a bit jaded. The way, perhaps, I am when I see art that friends find refreshing but I'm exasperated with because I've seen it repeated in various forms.
Point in fact, I had never seen Sweeney Todd before this production. I loved it.

RebeccaW said...

Here is my Sweeney Todd story: I saw a dress rehearsal of the original in the 1970's with Angela Lansbury. I got discount tickets with some pals at the TKTS booth the day of the show. There is one part of the show where Angela is standing stage front singing a solo, the refrain of which goes "Nothing can harm you". While she was standing there singing, a HUGE replica of London Bridge came crashing down on the stage. It would surely have killed anyone standing underneath. But there was only Angela and she was standing farther stage front. She paused briefly while some chains that had been holding the bridge crashed to the floor and a huge cloud of dust rolled over the audience. Then she turned stage front, shrugged, and sang "Nothing can harm you". She got a standing ovation. Then they had to stop the show. My Sweeney Todd story.

Mr. H.K. said...

I concur!