Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite difinitive, 8 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Sweeney Todd Live In Concert (Audio CD)
One of the Broadway Sweeneys, George Hern, stars in this concert revival of Stephen Sondheim's clever musical.
Based on folk-lore and written in the late 70s, Sweeney Todd is about a serial murderer in 19th Century London who returns from Australia to seek revenge for his wife's death and reunite with his daughter. It doesnt really sound like a laugh riot does it? but comedy is provided in the form of Mrs Lovitt (played here by Broadway and West End legend Patti Lupone) who takes up with Sweeney and helpfully disposes of the bodies by baking them into meat pies.
Patti Lupone does well as Mrs Lovitt even though the cockney accent sometimes slips....but oh, that voice!!! Worth the purchase alone for her versions of 'Wait' and 'Not While I'm Around' and the hilarious but disturbing 'A Little Priest'.
George Hern was a late replacement at this concert as Sweeney was originally going to be played by Bryn Terfyl, which would had been phenominal. Sadly he hurt his back so pulled out. George Hern is good in a role he won plaudits for 20 years ago (and he can be seen in a video/dvd of the show starring with the original broadway Mrs Lovitt, Angela Lansbury).
This is a concert version, and the audience reponse can be a bit ditracting when listening on CD. Apparantly this is also available on Region 1 DVD, and it may be more enjoyable to watch as well as here. In saying that, everyone is in good voice especially Patti Lupone and Audra MacDonald (as the Beggar woman). The orchestra is lush and the audience obviously appreciative. For Sondheim completists and Patti Lupone fans this is a must...for anyone else, I would stick with the Broadway original.
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