Saturday, April 09, 2005

He trod a path that few have trod

Attend the tale of Russell Crowe: Russell Crowe is in the running to star in the planned movie version of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, according to the Daily Mail newspaper. The report says that Crowe is “mulling over” whether or not to accept the role. The movie is being made by Sam Mendes’ Scamp Films, although Mendes has not confirmed that he will direct it. As for the other main casting, there are reportedly several names in consideration for the role of Mrs. Lovett. Emma Thompson, Imelda Staunton and Toni Collette are all cited by the Mail as being “in the mix”. I haven't had the fortune to be able to see a live production of Sweeney Todd, but do have the DVD of a 1982 cast performance, which I treasure. I suppose the set - spare girders connected by catwalks, with a main wheeled four-sided, two-storey set layout serving for most locations, such as the pie shop, barbershop, Mrs. Lovett's parlour, and basement - is innovative enough, but all the while watching (as is usually the case with shows I've already become familiar with through repeated listening of the soundtrack), I couldn't help contrasting the excessively tight stage direction with the somewhat more cinematic concepts I'd imagined. (Given that Len Cariou of the Original Broadway Cast is also something of a vocal dead ringer for Ian McShane, I also tended to imagine Sweeney Todd himself as a sort of twin to Deadwood's Al Swearengen, which I think is perhaps the highest of thematic compliments.) I'd love to see a fully realized mid-Victorian world for the grand guignol goriness of Sweeney Todd, rather than sparse and representative sets; a lot of the tension of the lyrics could be heightened with claustrophobic angles and creative lighting, impossible in a practical stage production for a large venue. Now, you know who I'd love to see as Sweeney for the film, having failed to even be aware of the show when he originally played the role on stage? (And not being anywhere near Los Angeles at the time, of course?) Kelsey Grammer. (The character is basically a version of Sideshow Bob who actually gets stuff done, see.) Alas, such casting would be too perfect for this world. (Via Blogway Baby.)


Anonymous Canadian Politics said...

Entertaining post!

4/10/2005 10:04:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home