Sweeney Todd Prog Metal Video and Coverage on DCMetroTheaterArts

Broadway Legend
Watch a clip form a rehearsal of Landless Theatre Company's Stephen Sondheim-approved 'Sweeney Todd Prog Metal Version' and read the coverage on DCMetroTheaterArts. We got to break the news. The show opens on Thursday night and runs through the 31st. Ticket information is in the article. Pie anyone?

Sweeney Todd Prog Metal Version Video and Coverage on DCMetroTheaterArts
morosco Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
darquegk Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Granted, this is a rehearsal video with bad acoustics, showing two songs that don't switch to a modern sound well...

But I am not too impressed yet.
Mr. Nowack Profile Photo
Mr. Nowack
Broadway Legend
Could they have picked a worst section of the show to showcase this new direction??

The rock orchestration for "Green Finch & Linnet Bird" seems a tad heavy. I was actually intrigued by the short section where they sang together and the beggar woman's part though.

I was previously known as Mr. Nowak (Joined: 5/20/13).
Updated On: 8/5/14 at 02:59 PM
icecreambenjamin Profile Photo
Broadway Star
I thought they would cast rock voices. It doesn't work with operatic voices. Kinda disappointed. I was deeply intrigued by the concept though.
Blocked: AfterEight, Phillypinto, Dave19
Broadway Legend
It sounds like they hired someone to create new orchestrations and then forgot about the vocal arrangements.
Broadway Legend
I am seeing it on Saturday night and will let you know what I thought. It is only a rehearsal clip so why not make the trip to DC and see it?
KChenowethfan Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
If it's anything like their prog metal "Frankenstein" last year the vocal arrangements were a low priority as was you know, ensuring the cast could sing the show. I've rarely been impressed by anything they've done - even the straight musical theatre.
"Why do you care what people might say? Why try to fit into their design?" (Side Show)
g.d.e.l.g.i. Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I've always felt prog metal was too specific and limiting a direction to go in. A general rock sound, yes, with character-specific variations, but when you commit to just one style, you lose something.

I'm reminded of the words of old hand E.Y. Harburg: "A song [...] is custom-made. You have to write something that will fit a singer's style and ability, but you also have to know the character that is being laid. Today, young composers beat out one with rhythm and energy without any differentiation for character. Everything depends on the beat. Everything sounds the same. Somebody did a rock version of one of my plays. The young guy sang rock. Fine. So did his boss. When the hippie and the big executive both sing rock songs, the big executive loses his dignity and you lose the differentiation between the two. That's why you're not getting shows on Broadway except Godspell and Hair. They're just infantile charades, all the characters drumming and the same yah-yah-yah. A songwriter, like a tailor, has got to measure his customer." So too, I would argue, an orchestrator.

And there are a plethora of rock styles to be played with. I could see some Jim Steinman type arrangements here, an acoustic arrangement of "Green Finch..." a la "Blackbird" by The Beatles (especially with that finger-picking style playing off the voice; I think it would be lovely) there, the Judge's "Johanna" first resembling baroque pop (for that authoritarian air) not unlike "Walk Away Renee" and then coming unglued, etc.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Updated On: 8/6/14 at 08:55 AM
Broadway Legend
I saw the production twice and it was quite good. The new arrangements were terrific. I hope you had a chance to catch it.
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