Just came back from Utah State's production of "Sweeney Todd" (I figured all the "Attend the tale..." headlines were old. And that was one of my favorite lyrics).
Well, I've been to USU theater productions before and - dang, they are awesome. This was no exception. These are my initial thoughts:
- Holy cow - Sweeney can sing! There was one note he held for - I swear, two minutes. And - how many guys can sing about "pretty women" and his lovely little daughter while offing people left and right. Kind of felt bad for the guy. Awesome performance (the guy who played Sweeney is in one of my roommate's classes - I wonder if he'd give out autographs - ha ha)
- Mrs. Lovett - is insane. And the girl who played her was amazing. I think it's harder to play crazy, funny characters than serious, dramatic roles for the simple fact that it's hard to ham it up and keep a straight face. I admire people who can do it. Brilliant performance!
- One of my mission companions had seen the Tim Burton version of Sweeney Todd and she had told me how people sit in Sweeney's barber chair and once he kills them, they slide off the chair down into the place where Mrs. Lovett makes her pies. Well, that's all well and good for movies (Tim Burton is a freakin' creative genius), but I was curious how the stage production would pull that off. Basically - not to spoil anything - the "dead" actor just kind of slides off into a trapdoor. It's pretty slick. I wonder how long they had to practice to look dead but still get down the chute without breaking something. Personally, I would probably whap my elbow or land and break my ankle. I'm sure my screaming in pain would break some of the suspension of disbelief for the audience. Just a hunch...
- Mad props go to the... well, prop department (ha ha... heh...) It never ceases to amaze me what they come up with for scenery and stage.
- Toby for the WIN!!! Dang, that kid is a crazed little bugger. And he pulled off creepy like nobody's business (it's always the innocent ones) I thought Mrs. Lovett was a piece of work. I didn't see that one coming - honestly, I thought the kid was dead. But he offs Sweeney? Granted, by that point, Sweeney was a broken shell of a human being, but Toby rubs it in nicely. I'm just sad that he won't get his muffler now... aw...
- And how 'bout Johanna shooting the prison guard? About time she showed some gusto. (Anthony's a wuss... does he ever find out that Sweeney was Johanna's father? Does Johanna find out, for that matter? Just curious...)
All in all - you USU theater peeps did a great job. Hats off to you - 3.5 out of 4 cannibalistic meat pies (razors are extra - just in time for Halloween).