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"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (1979) - Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (1930-)


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I am sure that there are as many if not more folk for whom Sweeney Todd is a movie with Johnny Depp where the blood is interrupted by singing that grates on the ear of every Sondheim fanatic I know. If you have never seen the musical performed by Broadway caliber singers... here are a couple of links....

Here is a fabulous one with a very macabre take... John Doyle is known for productions where the actors play the music.  it leads to some really challenging/interesting staging... this is part of the most complete playlist I could find for the production.

And the best "Straightforward" production i know of... Again the fabulous Patty Lupone and Michael Cerveris.  We saw this production twice on Broadway, the third preview sitting in the front row {when Patty offers a "sweetie" she handed me the roll of life savers!} when it was so tightly staged that the audience didn't have time to breathe or react in the second act.  When the curtain fell that day there was literrally a stunned silence for at least a mnute before wild applause.  One of the greatest feats of theater I have ever witnessed.  But the second time, at the end of previews was staged with a lot more air and is very similar to this performance.  While still stunning, the first preview we saw was actually a little more amazing.

Perhaps the best versions we ever saw were at the New York City Opera on consecutive nights where we saw Timothy Nolen and then Mark Delevan as Sweeney.  We actually got to meet Sondheim at one of the performances.  He is on record as saying that Timothy Nolen is his favorite Sweeney and that Delevan had the best voice.  Delevan is an operatic Baratone and Tim Nolen is a Broadway singer/opera singer.  He plays Judge Turpin in the second link.  We also saw Bryn Terfel sing Sweeney and our favorite: Brian Stokes Mitchell.

If you don't have time for a whole musical, here is an amazing clip with Michael Cerveris and George Hearn.

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