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Journal Archives for Stephen Sondheim

  • Helena Bonham Carter Sings Sweeney's Praises; Her Role of a Lifetime

    While on the set filming Sweeney Todd in the UK, Helena Bonham Carter, who plays the Demon Barber's cohort in crime, Mrs. Lovett, spoke with the Independent about the role she'd waited a lifetime to play. It wasn't a role that was simply handed to her, either, despite her relationship with the film's director, Tim Burton. It was only when the show's composer, Stephen Sondheim, gave her the OK that Bonham Carter's place was secured, and the couple could "burst into tears" of joy.

  • People: "Sweeney" Soundtrack "Like a Grand Night at the Theater"

    "Is there anything Johnny Depp can't do?" ask People magazine. He certainly does seem capable of tackling anything he tries, not least taking on the title role in the "splendid movie musical," Sweeney Todd. Writes People in its review of the film's soundtrack, out now on Nonesuch: "The soundtrack, in vivid fashion, succeeds at playing like a grand night at the theater."

    Read the full review in the January 14 issue of People, on newsstands now.

  • Broadway World: "Sweeney Todd" Shows a Master at His Best

    'Tis the season for Sweeney Todd. With the Tim Burton-directed film in theaters across the country now and the national tour of the John Doyle-directed stage version making its way through the States, Broadway World's Beau Higgins writes: "I have come to the conclusion that Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is certainly one of the greatest musicals ever created."

  • Playbill: "Sweeney Todd" Soundtrack Soars

    Playbill's Steven Suskin makes no bones about being a fan of the 1979 Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd. With the opening of the new Tim Burton-directed film version, he rejoices in the possibility that millions of new fans will now discover what he and legions of die-hard fans have known for years: "the magic of Sweeney Todd, at root, is in the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim." And as sacrosanct as the original may be for Suskin, "the newly released soundtrack album soars in its own ways."

  • NY Times Film Critics Suggest Oscar Noms for "Blood" and "Sweeney"

    With the Oscar polls set to close at the end of the week, the New York Times film critics have weighed in on the list of nominees they'd like to see. A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis, and Stephen Holden all agree that There Will Be Blood should be nominated for Best Director, Paul Thomas Anderson; Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis; and Best Adapted Screenplay. Holden and Dargis also think it should be on the list for Best Picture. Holden is joined by Scott in suggesting the film's Paul Dano for Best Supporting Actor.

  • Philadelphia Inquirer: Depp a "Dashing Choice" for "Bloody Brilliant" "Sweeney" CD

    In a four-star review of the new Sweeney Todd soundtrack in the Philadelphia Inquirer, A. D. Amorosi says that longtime Sondheim collaborator Jonathan Tunick's new orchestrations are "grandly gothic and sweepingly dusky but not without light." The new setting "makes magic" for the cast, with Johnny Depp turning in a performance that's "reminiscent of David Bowie." Amorosi says that casting Depp in the title role was "a dashing choice" that helps drive this Sweeney "to bloody brilliance."

    To read the full review, visit

  • The Story Behind Sweeney's Blades

    Sweeney Todd prop master David Balfour explains in vivid detail for the Los Angeles Times how he created the all-important "chaste silver" set of razors for Johnny Depp to wield on screen as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The article includes up-close shots of six of the blades designed for the film, each with an eerie engraving well-suited to its murderous task. To learn how it all unfolded, visit

  • NY Times: Sweeney Sings on Screen

    Today's most e-mailed story from the Movies section is "Demon Barber, Meat Pies and All, Sings on Screen," which was featured in yesterday's New York Times. The article tracks the story behind the film version of Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp—the soundtrack is due out on Nonesuch December 18—from the first time director Tim Burton saw the Stephen Sondheim musical as a college student in 1980. "After stewing in his imagination on and off for some 25 years," writes Sylviane Gold, "that encounter has been channeled into Mr. Burton's new film version."

  • Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd in In-Depth EW Cover Story

    Entertainment Weekly's special "Holiday Movie Preview" issue hits newsstands this week, and peering ominously from its cover is Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd. Inside the issue is a one-on-one interview with Depp and an in-depth feature looking behind the scenes of the long-awaited film adaptation of the  Stephen Sondheim musical that puts to rest any question of its star's singing abilities. You can hear for yourself when the soundtrack is released on Nonesuch Records December 18. For now, EW says: "Johnny Depp can actually sing."

  • Oscar Buzz for Sweeney Todd

    The Los Angeles Times "Gold Derby" blog is already predicting that Sweeney Todd will win the Oscar for best picture. "Sondheim's musical score is a masterpiece," says the site. "Viewers can't help but get swept up in Sweeney's lush melodies and raging drama." The blog says of the Stephen Sondheim play on which it is based: "Arguably, it's the greatest in Broadway history."