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SWEENEY TODD Question.. (Major Spoiler Inside)

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ljay889
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*spoilers*

I have seen the revival, the DVD with Hearn & Lansbury, read a synopsis.

But I'm still a little confused on how Toby went crazy, and why he ultimately killed Sweeney? Did he kill Sweeney because he figured out what he was doing, and that he killed Lovett? Or was he just a nutcase (well that's how the portray him in the revival, he's crazy from the start.)

I hope this isn't a stupid question and I hope the answer isn't sticking out right in my face.

Oh and why does almost everyone hate Betsy Joslyn's Johanna? I found her quite good, incredible voice, yes overacted at points.
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theatreguy
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I think part of it is up to the audience's interpretation. Maybe the realization of what is really going on, and that he has been a part of it, is just to much for him to handle. When he first enters after going insane, he is mumbling "patty cake, patty cake" as if he's reverted back to being a little kid (at leasr mentally).

As for Betsy Joslyn, I have no problems with her. Some of her facial expressions can be a bit . . . interesting, but she has a very nice voice and I think she does a fine job on the DVD.
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luvtheEmcee
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Those things confuse me, too.

I thought that in the story, he killed Sweeney because Sweeney killed Mrs. Lovett. But, maybe it's up to interpretation. It *could* be because he's just crazy, but is he as crazy in the story as he is in "real life?" If I interpreted it as I was supposed to, then the story is taking place in Toby's head, so who Toby is in the story may not be an exact incarnation of who he really is, if that makes any sense.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
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melissa errico fan
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I've always interpreted it this way:

Lovett was the first person to every be truly kind to Toby. In return, Toby (to an extent) falls in love with Lovett, and would never let anybody try to do wrong by her ("Not While I'm Around"). He views Sweeney as an evil man who doesn't care about Lovett's feelings, and when he sees that Sweeney has killed Lovett, the only person to ever love him, he erupts and kills Sweeney.

Just my interpretation. I may be wrong.
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smartpenguin78
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It seems as though figuring out what has been happening drives him crazy, then once he sees that Sweeney has killed Lovett he kills Sweeney, not because he was crazy but because he realized what he had sone.

I never saw him as crazy in the begining, just gullible and a little slow.

I also agree that he is in love with Lovett, at least in a "motherly" way.
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MargoChanning
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I always thought it was pretty clear in the Prince production. While in the smoke house, he finds a finger and other human body parts, realizes what Lovett and Sweeney are up to, tries to flee, finds out he's locked in, and goes crazy as he screams and bangs on the door to be let out when he realizes he's trapped with dead bodies in that hell-like place. When he emerges during the final scene with Sweeney and Lovett in the smoke house, his hair has turned white from fright and madness -- at least that's how it was staged when I saw it at the Kennedy Center with Hearn and Lansbury. Ken Jennings' hair was white and disheveled and he was clearly mad and muttering to himself just before he kills Sweeney.

It was being trapped in the horrors of the smokehouse for so long that drove him mad.
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Updated On: 12/3/05 at 05:43 PM
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pab
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Margo's description is correct. In the Libretto it says:

(TOBIAS emerges from the cellar, singing in an eerie voice. His hair has turned completely white)
"Smart! And into all those exotic mystiques -- The Kama Sutra and Chinese techniques. I hear she knows more than seventy-five. Call me tomorrow if you're still alive!"
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Theatreboy49
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i always thought that he just went crazy from finding out lovett and todd were doing those things and being locked in there for so long made him go insane.
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