Sweeny Todd, a tale of madness, murder and meat-pies told is enacted with some aplomb by the Microsoft Theater Troupe. It is two hours of non-stop musical goodness that will help end your day on an enchanting high. You will walk out with a smile on your face, a spring in your stride and humming either, “Sweeeeeny, Sweeeeny” or
Attend the tale of Sweeny Todd,
He served a dark and vengeful God
The play opens with Stephen Fry walking on stage. Literally, the gentleman in the ensemble bears such a resemblance that for a moment I thought it was Stephen Fry. The make up is brilliant – especially Mrs. Lovetts hair and that of Sweeny Todd. His eyes sparkle with a kind of enthusiasm, the contrast of which is magnified by the paleness of his face.
Everyone’s performance is amazing. There are some pieces that are really well executed. Tobias Ragg in the scene where Sweeny is in the marketplace challenging Pirelli (infact Tobias was brilliant throughout). I shall also admit that for the whole scene I did think that Adolfo Pirelli was played by a guy – I was shocked to find out it wasn’t so – and this is going to be the cause of much pulling of my leg in the near future.
The scene where Anthony and Sweeny’s daughter (who looked stunningly stunningly magnificent btw – the kind of pretty that would serve as an excellent definition for the phrase “head-turner”) were planning to elope was also beautifully done. Anthony in that scene played the part of someone who wants something quite badly very well.
The piece that took the cake was the one where Mrs. Lovett and Sweeny finally decide to mass-produce pies of murdered men. The song (ballad?) is well written, full of delightful wordplay. There’s something about priests and Sunday and Sargent’s and their privates. (I do apologize for painfully ruining this but I don’t remember the lyrics – I wish I did).
The play picks up pace after that. It will have you on the edge of the seats even though you can guess what’s happening next. Infact, the quality of the execution can be measured by the number of ladies gasping at any point of time, and let me tell you there were quite a few of them all through the second Act.
The music is spectacular. It feels so right all of the time. It hits the right notes, the correct highs and lows. The set is very cool, especially for a Microsoft cafeteria – it is remarkable. The scene with the mental asylum was well (yes, I’m running out of adjectives) enacted and so was the whole of Mrs. Lovetts shop.
The list of what all I liked is really long. It will take a while if I sit down to finish it. Infact, it will take so long that I will probably miss a 11AM meeting tomorrow (it is 1AM as I write this).
So, dear readers, if you happen to be around Seattle, please go over and have a look. It runs on the 4th, 5th, 6th and then the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th though I believe the shows on the 11th and the 12th are sold out. Plus, all proceeds from ticket sales go to charity.
DISCLAIMER: The author of this has no experience what-so-ever in reviewing theatre. Infact, the number of theatrical productions (if you do not count tantrums thrown by certain people I know which also fall into the “theatrical productions” category) the author has seen are probably countable on the author’s fingers. Please do not let either that or my English distract you from going and watching this show.
PS: I lost my copy of the program so I do not have the real names of the players at hand.
PPS: Kudos folks, well done indeed. Take a bow!