Because of my recent membership with Netflix (after Blockbuster decided to hike up their prices and subsequently lost me forever), I’ve been able to find rare, off-beat DVDs that Blockbuster just didn’t have. One of these DVDs is Sweeney Todd Live in Concert. It was filmed back in 2001 at the San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra. The style is very minimalist and there are very few props and no scenery. The orchestra itself is actually on stage with the actors.
I had two reasons to rent the DVD. For one, I had only seen the film version of the musical and I knew there were songs and scenes cut out. Truth be told, there was quite a bit cut out of the relationship between young lovers Johanna and Anthony; now that I’ve seen both, the film did suffer for the lack of that character development. The songs that were cut out were also really great, too.
The other reason I wanted to rent this is because the ever-talented Neil Patrick Harris is in it as Toby, the child/teenager with a child’s mind/man with a child’s mind (depending on the production). He has such a wonderful voice, even when it’s up an octave (which it is for most of Sweeney Todd). And him singing “a miracle mar-vel-ous rare” is so delicious. Plus, he knows how to sing a truly heart-breaking ballad (you just want to give Toby a hug, especially considering what happens to him later in the musical!). Have I mentioned how I can’t wait for the Dr. Horrible sequel?
Please enjoy these two songs sung by NPH himself. Even if you don’t usually like musicals, Sweeney Todd is such a treat. And so is Neil, for that matter.