Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Disco Sweeney! etc.

Sondheim dorks must check out this disco version of The Ballad of Sweeney Todd set to clips from the original Broadway production... Insane.

On the topic of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, when I was in New York earlier this month I shelled out to see the much-hyped Sweeney Todd revival currently on Broadway in which the actors are also the musicians. It was indeed awesome. I just love the concept, and it works perfectly, both distilling the show to superstrength and adding new layers to it. (For instance, the lovers Anthony and Johanna both play cello, while the Judge and the Beadle both toot muted trumpets -- though apparently it was just a fortuitous coincidence that the actor-musicians cast in these roles played these particular instruments.)

Here's a clip of the haunting Johanna quartet from second act to give ya a taste.

Yes, I am belatedly becoming obsessed with YouTube.

How I ended up seeing Sweeney is kinda interesting... At the opening night party for The Drowsy Chaperone, I found myself in conversation with singer Nellie McKay, who is currently in The Threepenny Opera revival on Broadway. How did I find myself in such a conversation? Well, I circled nervously until I got up the courage to go speak to her...

Anyway, I had one night left in NYC and thought I might go see her show and told her so. She, in fact, convinced me that this was a bad idea and encouraged me to see Sweeney Todd, which stars Michael Cerveris, who was also her date for the evening. It was good advice.

(Interesting fact gleaned from Ms. McKay's program bio. While this is her Broadway debut, she has a number of stage credits to her name, first of which is playing Lily in Canadian playwright George F. Walker’s The End of Civilization.)

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