`Sweeney’ update

We have confirmation that John Doyle’s revival of Sweeney Todd, the one in which the 10 actors also play all the instruments, will indeed open the American Conservatory Theater season on Aug. 30.

A press release from ACT stated: “The ACT presentation of Sweeney Todd launches the company’s 2007-08 season. Fruther details on the season’s offerings will be announced in March. Tickets for Sweeney Todd go on sale in August.

The press release also notes that next month, director Tim Burton begins filming the movie version of Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp (left, wearing my new glasses) as the title character and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett (a role originated by Angela “God Bless Her” Lansbury). Also in the cast are Alan Rickman (Judge Turpin), Sacha Baron Cohen (Pirelli). Vrrrry niiiiice.

Bloody good

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.