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December 21, 2007



It was Anthony Stewart Head. His scenes were cut down big time, so maybe we might see a bit more on the dvd. I want to see this, but i'll prob wait for the dvd.


“Sweeney Todd” is actually a melodrama play from the 1840's. I saw a brilliant stage version when I was a teenager and had nightmares for months. When I say “melodrama” I mean a drama with a musical underscore, I don't mean the late 1800's bastardized version of the name when it became camp with stock villain, hero and heroine.

The original melodramas were simply intense dramas with strong themes and music to underscore the tension. The true melodrama is a dead art form. What people think of melodrama today is very sad. I did authentic melodrama for four summers and was able to act in some of the most intense theater I've ever done. The music intensifies your emotions as you act. It’s a wonderful experience.

That said, “Sweeney Todd” is one of the few melodramas that is still around. Another famous one which is still performed is “Under the Gaslight” (not to be confused by a movie of the same name.)

I’m going to see the movie this weekend. Visually, the previews look great and the intensity of the melodrama appears to be there. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Sondheim or Burton but I am a fan of Depp (exception: “Pirates II and III” and “Charlie Wonka.”) Turning an intense, dark play into a musical is tricky. Granted it worked with “Les Mis” but that was an exception.

I was hoping that the movie would only have one or two songs and just stick to the story with an intense musical underscore. Sigh…melodrama…the lost art form.

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