SWEENEY TODD – THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Critics

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85 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

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Reviews: 0

In a barber shop above Mrs. Lovett’s struggling pie shop, Sweeney Todd plots revenge on the lecherous judge who wronged him and his family. In the seedy underbelly of 19th-century London, desperate times lead to diabolical schemes—and strange alliances. With razor-sharp wit and extraordinary songs like “Pretty Women” and “Not While I’m Around,” this Tony Award-winning masterpiece was proclaimed, “more fun than a graveyard on the night of the annual skeleton’s ball” by The New York Daily News.

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Reviews

"The Rep has gathered a first class cast to essay the gruesome story penned by Hugh Wheeler... Director Ken Nicholson shapes the enterprise with distinction. The other creatives make their mark as well with a special shoutout to the scenery design of John Iacovelli. His canvas is not the Gershwin (nee Uris) on Broadway where SWEENEY TODD first played, but given the limitations of this smaller stage, a worthy effort even so."

sweet - Bill Reese - Table to Stage - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis
"There is nothing particularly new here that raises this production above the multitudes that came before, but any version of Sweeney Todd that is pulled off capably, as this one is, is worth your time."

sweet - Scotty Keister - The Orange Curtain Review - ...read full review


Michael Van Duzer
"Perhaps the most unique element in this production is the reinstatement of several musical moments which have been rarely heard since the original Broadway production. The touring production, which was filmed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, had already cut the tooth-pulling sequence and the “Parlor Songs,” and these cuts became standard. It is a pleasure to see them back where they belong."

sweet-sour - Michael Van Duzer - Show Mag - ...read full review


"Quite possibly the most exciting production I've ever seen of this Sondheim curiosity, SCR's production of SWEENEY TODD is exactly how one would picture this musical to be done: as an intimately-staged dark comedy with operatic aspirations, a deep seriousness, and a surprising presence of heart, even as the main character hacks away one unsuspecting victim at a time. Does laughing at these horrific scenes mean we as a society are much too numb to react in any other way? Perhaps. But because we know that the inevitable comeuppance is coming, it is, maybe, okay to laugh temporarily... even at such horrors."

sweet - Michael Quintos - Broadway World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Even those like this reviewer who’ve seen more than enough Sweeney Todds to last them a lifetime will find much to appreciate in its latest incarnation, a bloody good show if there ever was one."

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


"And this production could have used more oomph. It’s just not as terrifying, funny and romantic as it should be. With an eleven-member cast handling all the roles and also serving as the chorus, something is lost in terms of scale and impact. Yet having a small ensemble means we hear all the lyrics, normally a difficult feat when a huge cast tries to spew Sondheim’s tricky words simultaneously — although Cricket Myers’ sound is praiseworthy. But this is handily one of the most difficult scores in musical theater history, as many numbers are operatic in nature, so while the vocals easily impressed, the 160-minute show seemed to tax some on opening night. David O’s 10-person orchestra sounded awesome — aided greatly by Mr. O on keyboards — but some of the orchestrations didn’t pummel us as they should."

sweet-sour - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"Although a director’s vision is clearly necessary, even when it comes to a highly accomplished Sondheim musical, what appears to be lacking here is a clear director’s vision. The performers are all solid and skilled, but they seem too often to be pulling in opposite directions..."

sweet-sour - Hoyt Hilsman - ShowMag.com - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal
"The South Coast Repertory production of Sweeney Todd led by director Kent Nicholson and musical director David O. shrewdly hits its marks by reveling in both the sensationalism of its Penny Dreadful-inspired story and the warped charm of its irresistibly gruesome humor. Nicholson allows his actors the freedom to play the broad music hall style of comedy to its fullest yet never loses sight of its darker undercurrents."

sweet - Ellen Dostal - Musicals in LA - ...read full review


"Fans of Sweeney won’t be disappointed by this production, as director Kent Nicholson has assembled a vigorous 11-member cast (a bit small for a show that, if budget allowed, could easily be doubled) graced with powerful and beautifully complementary voices that capture the goofy, low-brow vernacular of the poorer denizens of the rapidly industrializing 19th-century London streets, where the play takes place, and the twisted corridors ratcheting through the minds of the bloodthirsty, revenge-driven barber at its heart, as well as those caught up in his madness. (Special mention also to musical director David O and his team of nine musicians; no guitar, but there is a piccolo!)"

sweet - Joel Beers - OC Weekly - ...read full review


"...the Grand Guignol spirit survives in this entertaining South Coast Rep production. “Sweeney Todd,” a glorious musical thriller set in a society that has become morally unhinged, lives again in a production that is greater than the sum of its individual parts."

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


"The Rep has gathered a first class cast to essay the gruesome story penned by Hugh Wheeler... Director Ken Nicholson shapes the enterprise with distinction. The other creatives make their mark as well with a special shoutout to the scenery design of John Iacovelli. His canvas is not the Gershwin (nee Uris) on Broadway where SWEENEY TODD first played, but given the limitations of this smaller stage, a worthy effort even so."

sweet - Bill Reese - Table to Stage - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis
"There is nothing particularly new here that raises this production above the multitudes that came before, but any version of Sweeney Todd that is pulled off capably, as this one is, is worth your time."

sweet - Scotty Keister - The Orange Curtain Review - ...read full review


Michael Van Duzer
"Perhaps the most unique element in this production is the reinstatement of several musical moments which have been rarely heard since the original Broadway production. The touring production, which was filmed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, had already cut the tooth-pulling sequence and the “Parlor Songs,” and these cuts became standard. It is a pleasure to see them back where they belong."

sweet-sour - Michael Van Duzer - Show Mag - ...read full review


"Quite possibly the most exciting production I've ever seen of this Sondheim curiosity, SCR's production of SWEENEY TODD is exactly how one would picture this musical to be done: as an intimately-staged dark comedy with operatic aspirations, a deep seriousness, and a surprising presence of heart, even as the main character hacks away one unsuspecting victim at a time. Does laughing at these horrific scenes mean we as a society are much too numb to react in any other way? Perhaps. But because we know that the inevitable comeuppance is coming, it is, maybe, okay to laugh temporarily... even at such horrors."

sweet - Michael Quintos - Broadway World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Even those like this reviewer who’ve seen more than enough Sweeney Todds to last them a lifetime will find much to appreciate in its latest incarnation, a bloody good show if there ever was one."

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


"And this production could have used more oomph. It’s just not as terrifying, funny and romantic as it should be. With an eleven-member cast handling all the roles and also serving as the chorus, something is lost in terms of scale and impact. Yet having a small ensemble means we hear all the lyrics, normally a difficult feat when a huge cast tries to spew Sondheim’s tricky words simultaneously — although Cricket Myers’ sound is praiseworthy. But this is handily one of the most difficult scores in musical theater history, as many numbers are operatic in nature, so while the vocals easily impressed, the 160-minute show seemed to tax some on opening night. David O’s 10-person orchestra sounded awesome — aided greatly by Mr. O on keyboards — but some of the orchestrations didn’t pummel us as they should."

sweet-sour - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"Although a director’s vision is clearly necessary, even when it comes to a highly accomplished Sondheim musical, what appears to be lacking here is a clear director’s vision. The performers are all solid and skilled, but they seem too often to be pulling in opposite directions..."

sweet-sour - Hoyt Hilsman - ShowMag.com - ...read full review


Ellen Dostal
"The South Coast Repertory production of Sweeney Todd led by director Kent Nicholson and musical director David O. shrewdly hits its marks by reveling in both the sensationalism of its Penny Dreadful-inspired story and the warped charm of its irresistibly gruesome humor. Nicholson allows his actors the freedom to play the broad music hall style of comedy to its fullest yet never loses sight of its darker undercurrents."

sweet - Ellen Dostal - Musicals in LA - ...read full review


"Fans of Sweeney won’t be disappointed by this production, as director Kent Nicholson has assembled a vigorous 11-member cast (a bit small for a show that, if budget allowed, could easily be doubled) graced with powerful and beautifully complementary voices that capture the goofy, low-brow vernacular of the poorer denizens of the rapidly industrializing 19th-century London streets, where the play takes place, and the twisted corridors ratcheting through the minds of the bloodthirsty, revenge-driven barber at its heart, as well as those caught up in his madness. (Special mention also to musical director David O and his team of nine musicians; no guitar, but there is a piccolo!)"

sweet - Joel Beers - OC Weekly - ...read full review


"...the Grand Guignol spirit survives in this entertaining South Coast Rep production. “Sweeney Todd,” a glorious musical thriller set in a society that has become morally unhinged, lives again in a production that is greater than the sum of its individual parts."

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review