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Sweeny Todd
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Sweeney Todd is by no means a conventional musical; it takes several forms of music and theater and artfully places them together. Sondheim very effectively transports the audience back to Victorian England for a mad waltz with murder, mayhem...and meat pies. He also utilizes his skill as a choral composer to write some truly fascinating ensemble pieces accompanied by a very intricate plot with many elements carefully layered. There are several important thematic elements in this carefully written commentary on our society, and Sondheim makes good use of his music to accent not only the melodramatic plot, but these themes...
captive innocence, and the loss of innocence that immediately follows. Sweeney is driven to murder, Mrs. Lovett bakes these people into pies, Johanna kills, Lucy is forced to become a Beggar and a whore, and nearly every major character experiences their own fall from grace. Every character in the show is a captive, whether literally or figuratively. Most importantly, Sweeney is a captive of his revenge and Mrs. Lovett is imprisoned by her love for Sweeney. Both are determined to do whatever possible to attain their goals and both fail, ultimately destroying themselves just short of reaching their goals.
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