SWEENEY TODD Review

Links to all reviews can be found using the REVIEWS link at the top of the page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my Facebook fan page. You can also receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

Justin Glaser as Sweeney Todd.

Justin Glaser as Sweeney Todd.

SWEENEY TODD presented by The Carnegie & Commonwealth Theatre Company through Aug. 23. Read the show description.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, SWEENEY TODD as The Carnegie is very good.

Justin Glaser as the title character has a great voice, and makes Sweeney a more tragic character than I’ve normally seen him portrayed. Also in strong voice is Helen Anneliesa Raymond as Mrs. Lovett. She offers some great comic moments as Sweeney’s partner in crime as well as glimpses of the evil within. The scene with Tobias and the scarf was a character highlight for me.

The talent and performance quality doesn’t stop with the two leads. Across the cast are strong actors with voices to match, creating a very enjoyable production under the direction of Ken Jones.

Costume design by Dean Walz complimented by the wig and makeup design of Scott Reeder create great visual looks for many of the characters.

Helen Anneliesa Raymond-Goers as Mrs. Lovett & Justin Glaser as Sweeney Todd.

Helen Anneliesa Raymond-Goers as Mrs. Lovett & Justin Glaser as Sweeney Todd.

With no major complaints about the production, there were a few things that pulled me out of the moment that I thought worth mentioning.

As I said earlier, there was some great character work throughout the ensemble. I would caution a few of you not to let your character work steal focus from the leads. The first scene at the asylum with Anthony and Johanna would be an example of too much character business too close to a lead.

Although creating a visually balanced element by having two body chutes, logically the need for, or time spent by Sweeney rigging two chutes, doesn’t make sense. Also the decision to have The Beadle’s body “wrapped up” stands out since the killer NEVER took the time to wrap any of the others and left me at a loss for how quickly Tobias identified the body.

Justin Glaser as Sweeney Todd & Andy Burns as Barbershop Chair Victim.

Justin Glaser as Sweeney Todd & Andy Burns as Barbershop Chair Victim.

The decision to use the grey metal rolling stairs was problematic for me because the item is immediately recognizable as a modern piece of equipment. Either facing it, or constructing something similar in form and function would have served the show better. Also obvious was the cast member plugging in the light source for the furnace, twice.

Overall a very strong and enjoyable production of this dark Sondheim classic.

More information |

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under On Stage

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.