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Broadway: Sweeney Todd

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Broadway: Sweeney Todd"I'm not going to see Sweeney Todd," was what I told Rickey a few hours before I decided, at the last minute, to see it. I knew it was about a barber who murdered his clients—because I had seen a video of the original production with Angela Lansbury—and knew that I didn't want to watch such a dark and depressing musical. But I ended up buying a ticket for it because my Plans A, B and C fell through. I used a discount coupon. Student rush tickets are available, but I didn't have my student ID yet.

I did not, however, regret watching it. While the British accents were difficult to understand and the songs are typically Sondheim (read: not too hummable—though it does have "Nothing's Gonna Harm You," one of my favorite songs), the staging was well worth the price of admission. So I would recommend this musical if you're in the mood to admire real theatrical talent, creativity and virtuosity.

There are ten people onstage, and they do everything from playing the musical instruments, moving the sets, changing costumes and even helping out with flashlights every now and then. Oh, and they sing and act, too! Now, how many actors and actresses do you know who are good at singing, acting and playing the oboe? Patti LuPone is probably the best known, if not the only one. I don't know how they'll replace her.

But the entire cast was really amazing. Some of them played several instruments and characters. They deserved the standing ovation they got at the end. It would have been good, however, to see John Doyle, the director, who put the whole show together and truly deserved his Tony for Best Direction of a Musical.

The best small thing I noticed, which most probably just took for granted, was the mirror on top of the piano. It was part of the set but, at the same time, served as a way for whoever was playing the piano to see, at any point, what was going on behind him. Wow! Then again, if you watch musicals the way I eat food (i.e., I don't care how it's done as long as it's good), you may not appreciate Sweeney Todd as much.

Category: Broadway

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