14 Comments

  1. Kilby: specifically, Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd in the 2007 Tim Burton movie version. Probably the most widely-visually-recognizable Sweeney Todd, simply because it’s a wider distribution. Even if Len Cariou originated the role and won a Tony for it, how many people know what he looks like? I know what he SOUNDS like — I’ve heard the cast recording of the original Broadway often enough — but don’t know what he LOOKS like. And, for that matter, had to look up his name…

    But I recognized the visual of Depp.

  2. I also didn’t recognize him. My first thought was “vampire?” Fortunately, it was “sweeny.jpg” which told me what I needed.

  3. @ ianosmond – Thanks for the info! In retrospect, the identity of the face is obvious. I’m not surprised that the story was turned into a movie, but even if I had known about it, I would never have gone to see it, no matter who was playing the title role.

  4. Ditto, Kilby. Sweeney Todd creeps me out. Last year, we played a suite of Sweeney Todd music in a concert and I found it lackluster at best.

  5. Wow. Mileage varies. SWEENY TODD is probably my all-time favorite musical, rivaled only by CABARET and MARAT/SADE. (But I liked Cariou in the role better than Depp.)

  6. “I like trying to recite the full title of Marat/Sade”

    I can do that, but I have an unfair meory advantage, since I’ve acted in it.

    (College production; I was the inmate who channelled Voltaire in the nightmare sequence.) I spent most of my inmatey time on a riser high stage right,constantly pantomiming, ah, self-abuse. But, mind you, *tastefully.”

  7. Boise Ed: I would assume the music wouldn’t work as well in context. There’s a lot of dissonance in it, stuff that’s SUPPOSED to sound off and creepy, and if you’re actually dealing with the off and creepy characters, that makes sense. But if you’re just dealing with the music itself, I would assume that wouldn’t work.

  8. We saw it in it’s original run as Robert is a MAJOR Sondheim fan. It would makes sense that we saw it Len Cariou, but I see George Hearn in my head. I know that there is a filmed for TV version which was done later with Hearn, Lansbury, and Neil Patrick Harris as the boy – so that maybe why I am not sure.

    Len Cariou is still known as he is the oldest of the “Blue Bloods” family members. He did perform with the character’s great granddaughter in a father/daughter show in the series but they did not Sondheim.

    Tonight on youtube we watched a version of Company with Neil Patrick Harris in the lead (and Stephen Colbert was in it also – along with many others of course). That lead to a discussion if one of the songs was in the original version or not, Robert pulling out his LP and Playbill and my checking online – song was in, then out and then in again.

    I will stick in here – there was a 90th birthday celebration for Sondheim last month. It was intended to be a live stage show but was changed to a virtual event. Lots of well known people who have been in his shows over the decades (some with children/grandchildren) and very well done. (Though apparently the actual show started an hour late due to problems.) Some songs written for women are sung by men and vice versa. The performers picked the song they would sing. It was such a good show that my laptop stayed off all night, no visiting friends like you that night. Towards the end Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, and Audra McDonald sing “Here’s to the Ladies who Lunch” from “Company” and Bernadette Peters sings an acapella version of the perfect for the pandemic isolation -“No One is Alone” from “Into the Woods”. There was wonderful version of my favorite song from “Pacific Overtures” – “Someone in a Tree” For those who might not know the play – it about when Adm Perry went to Japan. A special building was built for the ceremony as it was to be private and no one else knows the details of what happened. In the play a man says he was there as a boy – in tree outside and saw it. Another man says he was under the table. Between them they saw and heard everything – and nothing. It is a very lilting song. For the show the 4 performers are each separate in their boxes which come and go – but they play off of each other looking up or down or across when the others are performing so they appear to be interacting with each other. Of course it is still on youtube to be seen – great just for the number and assortment of performers who are in it – and hey, you know you are looking for something different to watch right now. (It was a fundraiser for a young actors non-profit.)

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