Thursday, April 3, 2008

Movie Music: Charm You With a Smile

There was a lot of talk leading up to the theatrical release of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street about whether or not the non-singing stars would be able to handle the complex Stephen Sondheim score. However, after all is said and done, it was neither the Oscar nominated Johnny Depp nor Helena Bonham Carter (both of whom, for the most part, pull off the complicated songs admirably, if not impressively) that end up stopping the show with their vocal talents. No, the one that did was young screen newcomer Ed Sanders as street urchin Toby.

Most stage productions cast this role older (for example, Neil Patrick Harris played him just a few years back), but on film he is a pre-teen of the Oliver Twist sort, and Sanders delivers one of my favorite Sondheim show tunes, "Not While I'm Around", with a sweet tenor tinged with melancholy that stands out in stark contrast to the bleak, bloody goings on throughout the rest of this gothically stylized adaptation (what else would one expect from Tim Burton?).

So in the end, it was not so much the actors who had never done a movie musical before that stood out as it was the one who had never done a movie before period.

Click here to buy the Sweeney Todd soundtrackand DVDfrom

1 comment:

  1. Ed Sanders is not a tenor -- he's a treble (boy soprano).


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