This was an incredible performance. If you think about it, Sweeny Todd could really be pulled off in a small space: all you really need from a big stage is that “cube” that has the upstairs barbershop and the downstairs shop which rotates to the oven which rotates to the parlor. This can be (and was) re-envisioned into a small space with two floors. It was beautiful to watch.
The small space also makes the chorus that much more haunting as they stare at you from less than 10 feet away screaming “SWEENY!” at you. Holy carp was that exciting!
The harmonies were incredibly tight and sounded fantastic. Paired with canned music (which is normally horrible to envision), this resulted in a well-paced and beautiful sounding piece.
The acting was incredible, especially Sweeny (who also directed AND musical directed the show) and Mrs. Lovett. They had incredible chemisty and energy. Mrs. Lovett was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen and A Little Priest was just the most enjoyable event of my entire life! Freaking amazing and so much fun.
And guess what reading Greek dramas for 5 weeks before seeing the show will do to you. The theme’s of not only humans as food but the personal revenge/justice angle just made my skin crawl and I was invigorated by making the connection.
In comparison with City of Angels (both of them being “black box” or small space productions): City of Angels needs a big stage because it has a much bigger vision built into it.
People I Knew
Jason and Rachel Greene were in GWC’s Pippin back when I was a little kid, but they were also in GWC’s Guys and Dolls AND in Torrance Theatre Company’s Camelot AND the Chance Theatre’s production of Company.
Also directing, musical directing and headlining as the title role: John Massey, Jr.