The buchery, the sheer buchery!
Friday night, I was obligated to attend the tale of Sweeney Todd – the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, for all of you not in the know. It was, shamefully, the first tX play I’d attended in two years (the last was Godspell). I had to come to this one because not only was it the last play that my classmates Steven Gunn and Rick Coffey would be starring in; on top of that, four or so of my former classmates from St. Columban were part of the show as well!
It was incredibly well-coreographed, well-directed, well-sung, and well-performed. I don’t know how much of that was thanks to Steven Sondheim, and how much was due to the genius of Ms. Mascari & Co.
The triumvirate of stars – Rick Coffey as Mr. Todd himself, Becca Dorff as Mrs. Lovett, and Joe Moeller as Anthony – absolutely blew me away with their very real emotions, even as they sometimes sang the most slapstick songs.
I guess if you want to get picky – and I do want to get picky – there were just a few nitpicks for me. For next week, I suppose:
- Not to give too much away, but in Act 1, Scene 2, Rick had a great opportunity to show some real emotion, when he found out (erroneously) that his wife had been killed and his daughter taken from him. The words did make it clear that Mr. Todd mourned their loss, but Rick simply sat their on a stool saying the lines with non-noteworthy expression. Perhaps he was attempting to portray a tinge of anger even then, but it didn’t really show: it was just said.
- At times, the music got a bit loud, even in the back where I was sitting. Then again, my ears are quite sensitive to loud noise and start ringing when they detect something the least bit loud. I didn’t mind though: the music was good enough that I was able to pay more attention to the music than to its volume.
- Also, the main theater corridor on the first floor smelled too strongly of cigarettes. It was obnoxious. Perhaps we can get people to keep the doors closed when others are smoking outside?
That there was really only one thing that I can point out as a possible flaw in the show is amazing. For a person who will probably never get the chance to visit Broadway, this is very close. It was well worth the $10 I paid for a back-row seat.
Thank you very much, tX, for all your hard work and time spent. People will be talking about this one for a long time to come. And greetings to my many former classmates that worked on it:
- Jess Berens, Stage and Building Crew Head
- Becca Dorff, as Mrs. Lovett
- Kristen Robinson, Painting Crew Head
- Sarah Turner, Running Crew
(And a little sidenote: in perusing the show program, I noticed that no one used the word ecstatic this time.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll head over to Harrison’s for a bit of Shepherd’s Pie.
[Update] Please see Rick’s response.