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How does everyone feel about "Johanna" sung by the Judge?

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DirtyRottenGirl
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joined:12/4/05
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I just saw the Sweeney Todd revival and I believe it's titled Johanna. There are so many it's hard to keep track. I know in previous productions of Sweeney Todd they have cut out the masturbation scene with the Judge. I just wanted to know how people felt about it. I really liked how they did it for this production. It was very tastful and when I saw it there were some children there and i'm sure they didn't have a clue what was going on. So what do you think do you like it or is it better off cut?
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jimmirae
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I feel it is best left in. It is prt of the story and even more reason to dispise Judge T.
"It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance." - Elizabeth Taylor
RuprechtJr.
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Hmmm...I really didn't completely think he was masturbating. In my vocal score the last GOD!!! of a High F it says "Climaxing". I don't know if that means that he's having an orgasim or the music is climaxing. I love the song either way. The only professional version I saw with this song in is with George and Patti. To me the actor just seemed to be yelling GOD!!! from the hurt of the whip (which I always thought sounded like a stapler on the OBC :P)

Edit: I think the song should have been left in. Sorry for not saying it right away.
Updated On: 1/7/06 at 08:27 AM
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Smaxie
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It means he's having an orgasm.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
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Scarywarhol
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I didn't realize that he was masturbating in that scene...I guess I'm just thick.
I thought he was just lusting violently re: How does everyone feel about 'Johanna' sung by the Judge?
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freelancer
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I just saw this last night, and I thought that scene was very well done. Mark Jacoby did just enough to make you understand what was going on, but not feel insanely uncomfortable.
"I'm gonna jump straight up, kick a hole in the moon. Don't know exactly where I'm going, but I'm know I'm gonna get there soon." - Jerry Lukowski (Patrick Wilson) in "The Full Monty"
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jimmycurry01
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I think it is one of the best songs in the show, it gives a much deeper and darker insight to the Judges chracter.
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JoeKv99
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I love it-- he gets worked up over her when he sees her standing in front of the window and he can see though her gown. Later when He & Sweeney sing "Pretty Women" and they list off all the ways they love their women, the judge blurts out "Silhouetted!" and it creeps me out every time.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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aspiringactress
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I love the revival version of this song. The way its done is just vaugue enough to completely pull you in, and once you've been pulled in, there is enough clarity to completely understand what is going on. I agree with the "sillhouetted!" comment from "Pretty Women"
"We don't value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life's bounty is in it's flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it's been sung, the dance when it's been danced? It's only we humans who want to own the future too." - Tom Stoppard, Shipwreck
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lamentingenvelope
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I agree, I like the song left in and think it was done very well in this production... pretty much exactly what freelancer said. Enough was done so you know what was happening and were disturbed, but never exactly uncomfortable...
Isabella2
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joined:10/6/05
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i just liked it when Mark Jacoby look at his crotch and said "down! down!" that was a hoot. the song works perfectly in the production.
iluvtheatertrash
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I think the song is incredibly important to the plot.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
Elizabeth_DeBris
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I also think this song is an important part of the show. It gives Judge Turpin more depth, making him more than just the necessary-for-the-plot "villain" character. The song makes him considerably more creepy, and it shows that he does have some struggle with his conscious before he decides to marry Johanna. It makes him more human. A despicable human? Sure. But still human.

I agree with all the praise given to Mark Jacoby's performance, too. re: How does everyone feel about 'Johanna' sung by the Judge?
AuditioningWaitress
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I agree...I love Mark Jacoby, he can do no wrong in my book.
SweeneyPhanatic
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Just out of curiosity, since they've added this number back into the show, do they have the dialogue between Turpin and Johanna that's printed in the script published by Applause?
-- SDG
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paradox_error
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I completely agree that this song humanises the Judge.

And thus, makes the character extremely layered.

When this song is cut, the character lacks depth, and feels a little too 2D....
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Flahooley
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I'm just curious... who would bring children to SWEENEY TODD? Besides me of course?
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TargemQ8
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While I think the song is very important, and like what they've done with the song the current production (though a perverse part of me misses the self-abuse through whipping in the original production), I think it is best if the song is dropped from non-professional productions. This is partially because I've had the misfortune of seeing it done badly, but largely because it causes distracting controversy in, erm, "smaller" communites. Yes, killing and eating people is fine, but wanking really riles them up in Peoria.
Also, the kind of people who take their children to Sweeney are not as disturbing to me as a woman who took her 12 and 13 year old to Naked Boys Singing.
RuprechtJr.
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When I saw it done at a University there was no looking at or touching of the crotch in that production. I think that's why I always believed the "Climax" in my vocal score refferenced to the music. Then again, I haven't seen the newer production yet so I don't know how convincing Mark is. I'll see on 6/15/06. Great, now I feel like a pervert looking at how the character acts as he masturbates...*shivers*
Plum
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I never caught that "sillhoueted" comment. Ack. But it just goes to show how finely crafted the show is; it's full of small touches like that.
Jazzysuite82
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Firstly I love the song and think it should be there. It does give another facet to the Judge. However, it's not paramount to the plot. If the song isn't there you don't miss anything. You don't say "gee that judge isn't so bad" if the song isn't done. I think it's cut most of the time not because of it's masterbatory connotation, but because of length. I mean you are eating people and killing them, so there is no offesive thing here. I mean honestly the judge isn't really supposed to have his hands down his pants during this number. So professionals and ameteurs alike just have to be tasteful. That has nothing to do with level of performance.

Anway this show is 3 hours long. A 3 minute song does make a difference. I have a feeling some of the dialog was cut for the revival so they could allow for the song. It's 3 hours as it is.