Merritt David Janes and Ruthie Ann Miles in the national tour of "Sweeney Todd." Photo by Peter Coombs Photography, © 2008, www.pcdigipix.com
I went to see the show Friday night at the Fox. Maybe you're familiar with the movie in which Johnny Depp starred? If not, the story is about a London barber who seeks revenge after a judge sends him away to prison on a trumped up charge in order to take away his wife and daughter. Sweeney partners up with pie maker Mrs. Lovett who ends up producing the best pies in London...meat pies...you fill in the blanks.
I've seen a lot of musicals. This one was very different from any I've ever seen before. The actors and musicians are the same people and they're on stage the whole show, even after they're killed. The killings are conceptual, not at all like the movie. There is a swiping motion across the neck and at the same time another character pours what appears to be blood from one bucket into another. Then the victim puts on a bloody white jacket and stays on set.
Company of "Sweeney Todd." Photo by Peter Coombs Photography, © 2008, www.pcdigipix.com
The set is minimal with only a few props that get moved around periodically by the actors. You have to use your imagination to picture old London. If you're not familiar with the story, I assume it might be a bit hard to follow because of the minimalism. It's a very artistic way of presenting the show, very unique.
I can't say enough good things about the Fox Theatre. This place is amazing. When you enter the lobby you really have to just linger a while. Take it all in. I don't know much about architecture, but the detail that has been put into the Fox is really quite amazing.