Review: Sweeney Todd is a scandalously ghoulish presentation at Seattle Musical Theatre

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Sweeney Todd
October 28 – November 20, 2016
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Based on an adaptation by Christopher Bond
Directed by Chris Mayse
Music Director Michael Nutting
Rated: PG-13

Review by Jim Anderson

Sweeney Todd performing at Seattle Musical Theater’s digs on Sand Point Way in Magnuson Park, is a great find.

Perhaps the quest for ghouls, goosebumps, ghastliness during this season combats the commercialization of that other pending season with the more benign trees and elves and mangers and stars.

That quest is probably made totally complete by one evening here with the Seattle Musical Theater, now through November 20th.

While some teens in the audience relished in the show’s darker elements, there were a few younger children asking deep questions of their elders about the nature of good and evil during intermission.

This may not be a show for many among the weak or young of heart of any age.  There is plenty of sadness and darkness in Sweeney Todd.

But you know who you are, you who relish in the prospect of evil made to seem simple! To hear the chorus howl and bemoan what’s presented on stage is a delight by itself and the accompanying music only adds to the lessons portrayed.

Despite the darkness, there are truly profound lessons to hear from Sweeney Todd. One is that optimism and pessimism are not merely opposites; rather, the embrace of either optimism or realism can often, as in the case of Sweeney Todd, be bludgeoned by pessimism.

The other is that a hard-hearted avoidance of forgiveness or the quest for revenge may indeed kill, or lead those who are hard of heart to kill, the very thing one might otherwise wish to embrace. And, oh, for only the ability to perceive the gift before blinded eyes.

Be glad for Sweeney Todd – that you need not be him.

~~

SMT is located in Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle 98115. Free parking.

Tickets can be purchased online



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