I have recently bought a dvd on play.com: Sweeney Todd in Concert. Totally blew my mind!
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical, written and composed by musical genius Stephen Sondheim. It tells the tale of Benjamin Barker, a barber in London in the 19th century. After serving 15 years of punishment on a trumped-up charge, he returns to London as a different man. He finds out his wife has poisoned herself after being raped, and his child Joanna is being raised by the rapist, Judge Turpin. He seeks revenge and opens a barbershop above Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pie Shop. They survive together by slitting the throats of gentlemen and then baking them into pies.
The best known stage-Sweeney is probably George Hearn, know for Sweeney Todd and La Cage Aux Folles. He played Sweeney in 1980, one year after opening performance. Angela Lansbury (very famous lady!) was the first Mrs. Lovett, the baker of human pies.
In my Concert-version (2001), George Hearn also portrays Sweeney Todd. At the age of 67, he still plays the part stunningly! And he wasn’t even the man intended for the job. It would have been Bryn Terfel, but he had very last-minute problems with his back, so George Hearn was asked to substitute.
The second star of this Concert-version is Patti Lupone. She portrays Mrs Lovett, the wicked baker, and does so brilliantly. She won a Tony for her performance, and that’s very deserved. She’s American, although you wouldn’t guess that. The part of Mrs. Lovett is sung in a thick London-accent, I was shocked when I heard speak in real life! (on youtube, I heard her speak on youtube) Click here for the awesome song A Little Priest.
Please see/love/buy this musical, you can find it here on youtube, it’s a very good quality.
“The lives of the wicked should be made brief. For the rest of us death will be a relief!” Epiphany – Sweeney
“Nothing will harm you, not with Sweeney around!” Nothing’s Gonna Harm You – Tobias