Tonight we saw the latest production from the Davis Musical Theater Company: Sweeney Todd.
I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I saw it mentioned in the program at the beginning of the season last fall. I remember seeing the play years ago – a version played on the public television. Angela Lansbury played one of the lead roles, her hair in curled pigtails, dancing and singing in this dark and twisted plot. The play is not exactly a comedy, although it’s comedic in spots. The characters are angry and sullen, with the exception of the love-struck young sailor and the bubble-headed object of his affection. This is a play about revenge, from all different angles; of people wrongfully accused of crimes; of people not recognized until it was too late; of regret and despair, and most of all, hate. I adore this play because it covers all these topics with such lovely and biting sarcasm.
It is also a play that involves murder, and the subsequent use of those dead bodies as filling for meat pies. One of the most comedic moments occurs when the two main characters sing to each other of their plan to kill, methodically, for precisely that reason. And how appropriate that this song is the last one performed before the curtain falls for intermission – an intermission where they sold meat pies.