Sweeney Todd / The Genius Of Sondheim

Sorry, this vid is in Czech, but all the singing is in English. I realize this type of music is about as familiar to most of you as The name Angela Lansbury, but I implore you to give it a listen. Johnny Depp wouldn’t do shite! Sondheim’s greatest work in my view. The seamless integration of music and drama is magical. This is an adaptation of the stage production which began with the shrill blast of a steam whistle. Based on a Penny Dreadful, it is the macabre story of vengeance, “barberism” and man eating. Perfect fodder for a musical! The lyrics, perfect, the melodies, haunting and compelling, the subject matter, gruesome, the period, SteamPunk. If you think the musical began with Cats and ended with Phantom of the Opera, think again. Andrew Lloyd Weber is just a throwback to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Sondheim is the David Bowie.

Compared to the repetitive minimalism of today’s global preferences (sorry, guys, I like good fuck music as well as the next, but this is art) it satisfies the heart and soul as well as the amygdala. This ain’t genius by technological manipulation, but genius that needs nothing but artistic interpretation. It is a triumph of the imagination.

Comments

  • Yes! Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou are the quintessential players but I was surprised how good the movie adaptation was. Alot missing but still decent.

    The Sondheim catalog is immense and simply incredible.

  • FYI: @LinearLineman this video is blocked in the US by Paramount Pictures on copyright grounds. I recently saw this play live and then went home and watched the Tim Burton movie. Tagging Johnny Depp to play Sweeney Todd was an odd choice but Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have made close to 30 movies together I think. So, after seeing a great stage singer perform I appreciated how Johnny Depp made the role work for the screen. He still nailed the gorgeous melody of "Pretty Women" while making the demon Sweeney Todd someone you could root for and empathize with.

    Since I can't see the video I'll just change the subject to Danny Elfman who was written the film scores for
    every Tim Burton movie except "Ed Wood". I followed the development of the "Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo" and had immense respect for Danny Elfman's song writing talents. When he was tagged to score
    Pee-Wee's Big Adventure I expect something similar to the small band weirdness but was given something closer to Bernard Herrman... a big orchestral score with really complex orchestrations. This music is what I would aspire to create if I had an once of discipline but I don't.

    Focused, dedicated attention to music production takes a lot of time and effort. It can't be produced by anyone that dabble's with music as something fun. I dabble and I still have inter-personal conflicts over the time I spend listening to, reading about, investing in and practicing music making.

    Someone one serious about writing (who's name escapes me) never married so he could write. Many do marry but I'm sure a focus on art has killed more marriages than it has cemented.

    I know you wrote musicals at one time and came close to having one produced. Is Sweeney Todd your favorite? I'd have to go with "West Side Story" to combine Sondheim's words with Leonard Bernstein's score.

    What are your top 5 Sondheim musicals ranked in order?

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Sorry, this vid is in Czech, but all the singing is in English. I realize this type of music is about as familiar to most of you as The name Angela Lansbury, but I implore you to give it a listen. Johnny Depp wouldn’t do shite! Sondheim’s greatest work in my view. The seamless integration of music and drama is magical. This is an adaptation of the stage production which began with the shrill blast of a steam whistle. Based on a Penny Dreadful, it is the macabre story of vengeance, “barberism” and man eating. Perfect fodder for a musical! The lyrics, perfect, the melodies, haunting and compelling, the subject matter, gruesome, the period, SteamPunk. If you think the musical began with Cats and ended with Phantom of the Opera, think again. Andrew Lloyd Weber is just a throwback to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Sondheim is the David Bowie.

    Compared to the repetitive minimalism of today’s global preferences (sorry, guys, I like good fuck music as well as the next, but this is art) it satisfies the heart and soul as well as the amygdala. This ain’t genius by technological manipulation, but genius that needs nothing but artistic interpretation. It is a triumph of the imagination.

    Angela Lansbury, who gave her under age daughter a signed permission note to hang out with Charlie Manson’s crew.. as they were getting hassled by the cops too often...
    i think that set the scene quite nicely for “murder she wrote” and all this sweeney todd pork pie manufacturing! :)

  • @RockySmalls
    I never heard that ! Huh? Man, I need to look that up. Wowie.

  • @kinkujin said:
    @RockySmalls
    I never heard that ! Huh? Man, I need to look that up. Wowie.

    i first read it in Ed Sanders ( yes, he of The Fugs notoriety ) book “The Family” many years ago.. it always gives viewing disney’s Bedknobs & Broomsticks a nice evil twist to it... knowing somehow Charlie is connected in... !!
    helter skelter... lalalalalalala...
    :)

  • @RockySmalls said:

    i first read it in Ed Sanders ( yes, he of The Fugs notoriety ) book “The Family” many years ago..

    Quentin Tarantino has a new movie coming out that will help people understand how Charlie Manson was able to build his "Family" from young people seeking to live the "Free Love" Hippie lifestyle at an abandoned movie lot near Hollywood. Dennis Wilson (drummer for the Beach Boys) almost fell into Charlie's circle of influence. He wanted to be an actor, a Beatle, and be surrounded by willing young girls.
    He failed in music and acting but was able to seduce a small harum.

    Cops and Hippies in general did not get along so Manson probably fueled a general distrust of the police that most Hollywood liberals would have accepted on faith. Getting rousted by the cops would have scared Angela Lansbury so I'll cut her some slack. Manson was a supreme con artist and no one really saw the final stages of the Family's activities until it was way too late. Most cults have a public face to cover a wealth of darker secret behaviors and this was no different.

    The new movie is called "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" with the usual Tarantino suspects (Leonardo de Caprio, Brad Pitt, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell and Margo Robbie as Sharon Tate).

    The only clues to the music involved are the credits in IMDB:

    Music Department
    Mary Ramos ... music supervisor
    Gary Raymond pro tools music playback and recording
    Jim Schultz ... music editor

    Expect a "mix tape" score again.

  • @McD said:

    @RockySmalls said:

    i first read it in Ed Sanders ( yes, he of The Fugs notoriety ) book “The Family” many years ago..

    Quentin Tarantino has a new movie coming out that will help people understand how Charlie Manson was able to build his "Family" from young people seeking to live the "Free Love" Hippie lifestyle at an abandoned movie lot near Hollywood. Dennis Wilson (drummer for the Beach Boys) almost fell into Charlie's circle of influence. He wanted to be an actor, a Beatle, and be surrounded by willing young girls.
    He failed in music and acting but was able to seduce a small harum.

    Cops and Hippies in general did not get along so Manson probably fueled a general distrust of the police that most Hollywood liberals would have accepted on faith. Getting rousted by the cops would have scared Angela Lansbury so I'll cut her some slack. Manson was a supreme con artist and no one really saw the final stages of the Family's activities until it was way too late. Most cults have a public face to cover a wealth of darker secret behaviors and this was no different.

    The new movie is called "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" with the usual Tarantino suspects (Leonardo de Caprio, Brad Pitt, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell and Margo Robbie as Sharon Tate).

    The only clues to the music involved are the credits in IMDB:

    Music Department
    Mary Ramos ... music supervisor
    Gary Raymond pro tools music playback and recording
    Jim Schultz ... music editor

    Expect a "mix tape" score again.

    if QT doesn’t sync The Fugs to this one ... then it’s curtains! :)

  • @McD ...Sweeney Todd, WSS, Pacific Overtures, Sunday in the Park, and the 1950s scripts for Topper (sung by Leo G. Carroll)😘

  • Besides working with Doug Woods, Dave Lioneli and Oliver Papke, I also also do a bit of am-dram. I was lucky to play the role of Sweeney Todd for a couple of songs we did in a more general musical show. I have also played the Baker in Sondheim’s Into the Woods. His music sounds really weird at first and is quite difficult timing wise but persistence pays off and I think they are some of the best musical songs out there.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @McD ...Sweeney Todd, WSS, Pacific Overtures, Sunday in the Park, and the 1950s scripts for Topper (sung by Leo G. Carroll)😘

    Topper? Really. I loved that show in re-runs. Do you remember Burns and Allen? "Say goodnight Gracie." "Goodnight Gracie". The best timing in show business. I wonder if she wrote any of those lines.

    I had a teacher that played Burns and Allen re-runs for us everyday for lunch. I stumbled onto a Lone Ranger episode today while comparing competing "News" channels. They have all decided to work a particular slant on reality. One commentator said the 2020 election is a referendum on capitalism vs socialism. More like a contrast of reason and blind loyalty.

    We are so old... how did this happen?

  • Burns and Allen were unique cause George was just as funny, in a dry way, as Gracie. He did quite well as a comedian without her, @McD. You got old fast cause you were always busy. Try boredom next time.

  • Aah! Revenge and cannibalism! Reminds me of another masterpiece : Greenaway's 'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife &Her Lover'

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