Customer Review

58 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Many Facets of Stephen Sondheim's SWEENEY TODD, April 3, 2008
This review is from: Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition) (DVD)
When it comes to a work of the musical stage it is difficult to imagine a finer one than Stephen Sondheim's SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET. For those who saw the original 1979 Hal Prince extravagant production starring Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou/George Hearn, and then the 2005 revival as condensed so creatively by John Doyle and re-orchestrated by Sarah Travis who placed the orchestral instruments in the hands of the 10 actors who tell the story of the strange Todd, the Tim Burton (screenplay reduction by Josh Logan) film will only enhance the pleasures of seeing SWEENEY TODD resurrected in yet another form. Each of these incarnations has its riches and together they establish Sondheim's work as a masterpiece.

Johnny Depp makes a convincing Sweeney Todd, in looks and demeanor as well as in singing voice, and Helena Bonham Carter's Mrs. Lovett fits right into Tim Burton's vision of the dark, squalid and seedy London. Timothy Spall is perfect as the oily Beadle, Alan Rickman makes Judge Turpin an understandable villain, Jamie Campbell Bower and Jayne Wisener are suitably infatuated young lovers, and Sacha Baron Cohen and Ed Sanders give top flight cameos as Signor Pirelli and Toby. The one advantage of seeing this fine film on DVD is the option of turning on the subtitles so as not to miss a word of Sondheim's superb lyrics.

For this viewer, however, the most successful version of this 'opera' is the John Doyle production currently on the boards in Los Angeles with Judy Kaye as the most satisfying Mrs. Lovett on record. This uniquely economical and endlessly creative production goes to the core of the work better than any other version, and if this traveling company comes anywhere near your home, go see it! It is the essential SWEENEY TODD and a fine adjunct to seeing the film version again and again. Grady Harp, April 08
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 3, 2008 6:44:59 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 19, 2011 3:17:02 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 8:04:40 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 19, 2011 3:17:02 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2008 10:45:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 3, 2008 10:48:28 PM PDT
I'm curious about the odd loyalties and aversions of the few Harp supporters who've actually appeared openly on Amazon. These few tend to unite in contempt these days over the phenomenal number of mediocre reviews posted by Harriet Klausner, while they swallow whole the smaller number of often equally poor, but always outrageously vote-inflated reviews of Grady Harp. As has been suggested, the similarities here - posted review inflation or vote total inflation - are equally culpable frauds, whether they stem from vulgar personal ambition or a sang froid about misleading "someone trying to decide whether or not to purchase" a product. Can anyone explain why these few commentators tend to pillory Harriet, at the same time as they give Grady a free pass? Inquiring minds want to know.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2008 11:47:24 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 5, 2008 1:32:22 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2008 3:12:57 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 19, 2011 3:17:03 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2008 8:30:15 AM PDT
Barbara:
Wouldn't it be funny if Grady himself were revealed to be the chief multiple voter on the reviews and comments here? He'd then be able to say, in an update of the famous Pogo cartoon, "I have met the enemy, and it is me."

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2008 11:05:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 6, 2008 11:06:26 AM PDT
Picky Fella says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2008 12:55:21 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 9, 2008 10:52:11 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2008 11:50:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2008 11:53:05 AM PDT
It must be very tiring for the chief phantom voter of this site to distribute so many positive votes for the review of this obscure book along with an equally large - and equally unbelievable - number of negative votes for the comments. Such activity visibly take its toll, however, since the zealous naysayer begins to peter out as the number of comments increases. Usually this "voter" is scrupulous to see that the total number of votes for the comments does not exceed that for the review itself. An excessive number of votes on comments greeting a marginal work might raise eyebrows, after all. There's a slight and amusing discrepancy presently (4-8-08, 11:50am PST), though, since Office Lover's initial comment has 166 total votes to the review's measly 165. Phantom voter, get on the ball!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2008 8:04:51 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 10, 2008 8:04:51 AM PDT]
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Grady Harp
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Los Angeles, CA United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 72