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Sweeney Todd

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd!

Those are the first lines of an unforgettable performance that Cokebaby and I attended during Neptune Theatre‘s Word of Mouth night last week. If you’ve never heard of the play or the movie, here’s the blurb from their site:

This celebrated musical masterpiece of murderous barber-ism and culinary crime tells the infamous tale of an unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who robbed him of his wife and child. His savage plan for revenge expands to include his unfortunate customers who, in the hands of his accomplice, are turned into delicious pies. Dark humour and an infectious score made this musical thriller a smash hit in London’s West End and Broadway.

I’ve mentioned before that we aren’t typically fans of musicals in general but so far the Neptune has impressed us with these types of performances. Sweeney Todd was really exceptional and a fabulous start to what looks like a fun and fresh new season. Fittingly so, since it’s the 50th anniversary of the theatre.

Sweeney Todd Photo credit: Timothy Richard Photography

My fave scenes had to be when the Ensemble came out to sing. I got goosebumps every time! The music itself was, at times, chaotic almost to the point of distraction but that only added to the madness of what was happening on stage. The set was fantastic and somehow managed to make the stage look bigger than ever before. There was a true feeling of old London in both the costumes and the stage.

That said, there were a couple very minor staging snafus with the barber shop but we’ll chalk those up to it being only the second night of the show. Otherwise it was seamless. My one criticism is that I found Johanna’s singing part to be quite shrill. Piercingly so. Is that the point though? I don’t know. As I said, I’m not an expert on musicals. Overall, I found the roles to be perfectly cast and the singing voices suited to every character.

Be warned: This play is definitely not for the faint of heart. While there was no gore like in the movie, there was certainly a lot of blood and discussion of specialty “meat” pies enough to churn a weak stomach.

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd!

No, seriously. You should go. It’s playing at the Neptune Theatre until October 7.

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Source: http://eastcoastbychoice.ca/2012/09/19/sweeney-todd/

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