Sunday, December 10, 2006

"And if you're beautiful, what then, with yellow hair like wheat? I think we shall not meet again, my little dove, my sweet Johanna. Goodbye, Johanna, you're gone, and yet you're mine, I'm fine, Johanna, I'm fine." ~stephen sondheim (sweeney todd)

I want to talk about the upcoming Sweeney Todd film. This subject concerns me very much. I absolutely love Sweeney Todd. I think it just may be the best musical ever written. Sondheim is a genius and this is arguably his best work. I cannot say enough good things about the show; it is simply brilliant. The most recent Broadway revival was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen onstage and I am so grateful that I was able to witness it. So, understandably, I am terrified that Tim Burton will butcher it. I liked the idea of Sam Mendes as a director better. Burton's first few moves once he was attached to the project did not inspire confidence in me. Casting Johnny Depp seemed way too unoriginal for him, even though I love Johnny Depp. When he cast Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, I had to work very hard to calm myself down. Those two casting choices were far too predictable for him. Does he ever use any other lead actors?? Couldn't he have put more thought into his choices and explored some other possibilities? I have calmed down, however, and am more open-minded now. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter just might work. I'm going to give them a chance. The most recent casting decisions did much to ease my mind. Any movie with Alan Rickman in it is okay by me. Casting him as the Judge was brilliant. I CANNOT WAIT to hear Alan Rickman sing Johanna; the mere thought of it makes me shiver in anticipation. I love that song, especially the second act version. Seeing that song performed live (the second act version) in the 2005 Broadway revival made me cry. I know, I'm a dork, but it was so indescribably beautiful. The cellos were what put me over the edge. Have I written about that performance here yet? There were 10 cast members, and they were the entire orchestra as well; they played all the instruments onstage as they sang. Lauren Molina and Benjamin Magnuson (playing the parts of Johanna and Anthony) both played the cello, and when thet sat onstage next to each other, playing in unison, it had such a heartbreaking effect. Okay, I got really sidetracked. Back to the movie. There are rumors about Jim Broadbent being cast as the Beadle, which is also an example of wonderful casting. So things are looking up. Please don't disappoint me, Mr. Burton.

On another musical note: Spring Awakening officially opened tonight. The reviews have been released throughout the evening and they're good. Which makes me so happy. Luckily Isherwood reviewed it for the New York Times (instead of Brantley) and he gave it a rave. It also got rave reviews from the AP, Variety, Theatremania...everyone involved with the show will definitely be celebrating tonight, because this is very good news. Hopefully it will give the show a Tony nom for best musical and will help it bring in more revenue.

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