Halloween seems the appropriate time to talk about Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a dark, grisly 1979 musical about murder victims being ground into meat pies.
The show had an acclaimed but ultimately too-brief revival on Broadway recently with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris.
Then came news that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were going to make a movie of the musical, with Depp in the title role.
Now Variety reports that Depp’s leading lady has been cast. Helena Bonham Carter, best remembered for her period turns in Merchant-Ivory films and in Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake, will play Mrs. Lovett.
Can Bonham Carter sing? She sounded pretty good singing in the animated film Corpse Bride. But what about Depp? We know from Pirates of the Caribbean that he looks good in eye makeup, but can he warble? I guess we’ll find out. Filming is slated to begin early in 2007 for a release next fall.
Rumors abound that the Hugh Wheeler staging is about to go on a national tour; any truth to it?
Correction, I meant the revival staging by John Doyle…(that’s what you get for trying to senak in a comment while you’re at work!)
Apparently, plans are still on for a U.S. tour to begin at the end of summer 2007. The Broadway revival recouped its entire $3.5 million investment in less than five months, so producers have got to consider that a favorable financial condition for a tour (though the show may be a hard sell in the hinterlands — Sondheim isn’t exactly “Wicked”). Plus, with buzz about the movie in late 2007, a tour of the show might benefit from perfect timing.