|I didn't have a single problem with this cast, all of whom did their own singing, and quite creditably too.|
|Sweeney Todd made money and|
raised eyebrows: could Sondheim
musicals become hit films?
|This week's Dance Party showcases the work of Meryl Streep, who previously appeared on the Dance Party in one of the more bizarre entries in the series, go here for that oddity. Her portrayal of The Witch earned another Oscar nod. Cynics were all over that, but one need only see her scenes with her adopted daughter to admit that she was doing award-worthy work. This was not Margaret Hamilton's witch.|
|Tom Aldredge played the Baker's Father in the original. I|
wrote a bit about him when he died. The theme of absent
parents was much stronger in the stage play than the film, a
theme which always resonates with me. But it had to go.
I felt the loss of the ballad "No More" most heavily, but have to admit that, here again, it simply was not needed. It's a raw and wonderful duet between the Baker and the father who deserted him as a child, and is probably my favorite song in the show. But the Baker's Father was a minor character in the film, and the exclusion of his subplot was probably a wise, if painful, decision.
The success of Into the Woods, following that of Sweeney Todd several years ago, has awakened interest in translating Sondheim to film. Our birthday boy has revealed that someone who shall remain nameless is tackling his Pulitzer prize winner Sunday in the Park with George for film. Considering it took decades to get Into the Woods into the theaters, no need to hold our breaths.
|"The Send In The Clowns Musical"|
was the only way they could think
to promote this disastrous Sondheim
film adaptation. It was more than 30
years before anyone tried another.
I myself wish Steve's most cinematic work, Follies, would make its way to the big screen; it really belongs there. And boy I wish one of those TV networks planning live presentations of Broadway musicals would take a long look at A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; before Robin Williams died, I wrote a piece about how suitable the show would be for such a treatment, and I even cast the thing with TV-friendly stars.
|Zero Mostel. Phil Silvers.|
Jack Gilford. Buster Keaton.
What could go wrong?
Ah well, maybe one day. For now, enjoy this week's Dance Party, in which Streep has been betrayed by her daughter, who must now pay the price. Happy Birthday, Steve, and congratulations.