Tag Archives: Sweeney Todd

Dark Musicals

Wednesday November 26th 2014

My favorite musicals have always been about dark, disturbing subject matter. Phantom of the Opera is about a deformed, murderous outcast who falls in love with a beautiful young singer. Sweeney Todd is about a sadistic, cannibalistic barber. Jekyll and Hyde is about a scientist who develops a split personality for the sake of a scientific experiment. Urinetown is about a town who’s water completely dries up. Into the Woods is about various fantasy characters learning difficult, disturbing life lessons. Candide is about two young people who learn through various horrific incidents (rape, torture, murder, etc.) that life is unfair, unjust and unkind, but they must do the best they can. Les Miz is about poor people who are all murdered fighting a hopeless battle against the government. West Side Story is about two people from different cultures who fall in love, one of which is murdered at the end. Dark musicals go into places of the human mind that fascinate me. They challenge and excite me.

My two favorite musicals have always been Sweeney Todd and Phantom. Both characters fascinate me. They aren’t good people with good intentions by any means. Both are murders. Both have distorted views on the world. Both think and act in ways I never would. If I met either of them in person, I’d probably be absolutely disgusted and terrified. So why do I commiserate with them within the context of the show? I think it’s because you get into their head and realize why they do what they do. They are both anti-heroes. They do evil things because evil is done to them. Erik, for example, extorts the managers, blackmails Christine, and murders people left and right. He even gets away with it! Yet, in the show, you see he is actually a sensitive musical genius with a simple desire to be loved. It’s therefore easy to feel compassion for him. Sweeney Todd slits people’s throats and baked them into pies, but in the show he is falsely imprisoned so a lecherous old judge can have sex with his wife. See? Bad is done to them, so you feel for them. Well, I do anyway.

More later.

Odd Ball

Monday July 7th 2014

I hopped out of bed today, which is unusual for me. “Isn’t life wonderful?” I thought to myself. “I can get up and meet amazing people and do whatever I want. I’m so happy to be alive.”  I worked on yesterday’s blog and finished watching ‘Titanic.’ When that was done, I continued reading ‘1984.’ We went to the corner store and got food for dinner. I got myself a San Pelegrino blood orange soda and a berry granola bar for a treat.  I was going to have cheese burgers for dinner. They didn’t have the patties I’m used to getting, so I got some others. The store always plays classical music. They were playing one of my favorite pieces, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto 3rd Movement.

We went home and I looked it up on Youtube. It used to be one of my favorite pieces ever. I wanted so desperately to play it. I found some coloratura soprano videos that blew my mind. The kind of notes they’re hitting is astounding. I especially love Lily Pons’ ‘Lakme’ aria at 3:22. Unbelievable! I then found a creepy Edgar Allen Poe animation of ‘The Tell Tale Heart.’ I used to spend hours reading his stuff. One night when I was growing up in Nashville, I sat on the porch looking at the rain memorizing ‘The Raven.’ Though I never liked Nashville, it sure had some great thunderstorms. I think I memorized the whole thing in a few hours. It was such an eerie experience, reading the lines to myself. I used to love dark, rainy days. They make me quite depressed now. I also love ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ and ‘The Pit and the Pendulum.’ (Read them if you haven’t already.) I guess I can thank high school for that. Our school went to see a play where an actor performed ‘The Tell Tale Heart.’ I loved it, but I don’t think anyone else did. I was such an odd child. I was into Shakespeare, Poe, Verdi, Mozart while everyone else was listening to, ugh, Britney Spears and the Spice Girls. I never liked popular music. I despised it with a passion to be honest. I’m convinced pop music kills brain cells. I took pride in being an odd ball growing up, still do. I love Phantom and Sweeney Todd, Joseph Merrik, Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Hopkins. I love dark, older, grotesque men or men who create those characters. I have an affiliation with Phantom that is so wound up in me, I don’t think it will ever dissipate entirely. I am still so drawn to the character Erik. He’s misunderstood, like I am. I tend to gravitate towards men who remind me of him. I’m attracted free spirits, people who don’t follow societies standards of what is acceptable.

I finally bought my dances shoes. I had them sent to my dad. He will ship them to me when he gets them. I hope they arrive in time for Rio! I continued reading and had my snack bar and a soda. What a lovely treat! I love ‘1984.’ I have quite a different perspective on it now after having read it previously. I love reading books twice. You see a lot more.

We went to the kitchen to make dinner. As I cooked the patties, they started looking strange. “Are those beef patties?” Thoth asked. I looked on the package. “No, they’re pork. Damn! Now I have to go out again.” I said. “It’s simple, really. You can go down and see if they have beef.” Thoth said. “Why would they have it now if they didn’t have it before?” I said. “Well, try it and see if you like it.” Thoth said. “I don’t want to eat this. The smell makes me sick.” I said. I threw everything away and started moping. “I’m gonna go look for you. I’ll be right back.” Thoth said. I read my Kindle to calm myself down. I hate when that happens! I was ready to eat! Thoth came back empty handed. “I was going to go to Scotmed, but you’d wonder where I was.” he said. “Oh Bunny, that’s so sweet.” I said. “Should I go to the store?” he asked. “No, I’ll go.” I said. I put my shoes on and brought my iPod with me. “Don’t be long. I want to eat with you.” Thoth said. “I’ll be as fast as I can.” I said. The store was closed, so I had to go back to the corner store. I was going to get chicken, but they didn’t have any so I got salmon. “The store was closed so I’m gonna make salmon wraps.” I said. “I was going to get you that.” Thoth said. I made dinner and went back to the room. I watched some videos of Thoth. “Who is that?” Thoth said being silly. “That’s you!” I said. He got in bed and I cuddled with him before he fell asleep. I went in the bathroom so I wouldn’t bother him and watched some James Swanton videos until 2am. Before I went to bed, I found a video of a new puppet animation by Toby Froud called ‘Lessons Learned.’  Looks interesting…