Friday, April 9, 2010

Review! Sweeney Todd; The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

I have written and rewritten this review numerous times. Why? I think it’s because I am trying to write a review the way I think it’s “supposed” to be done. Since when do I do things the way they are “supposed” to be done. What was I thinking?!?

New approach.. Basically I am going to write, what I would tell you if you asked in general conversation.

Here goes:

You: So Susan, what did you think of Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street?

Me: It was great!

You: Do you think I should check it out?

Me: Totally!

You: What is it about?

Me: You never saw the movie?

You: No.

Me: Ok. Basic story... wait.. if I tell you the basic story that would be a bit of a spoiler. Hmm.. It’s a story that takes place in London a long time ago, a guy gets set away and comes back really cranky, but he retakes up his profession as a barber, mostly to get revenge on the judge that sent him away and stole his girl. Things get a bit strange..

You: and..

Me: It was really fabulous.. dark.. but oddly funny.

You: Funny?

Me: Yup funny. You have to see it to understand. Do you like meat pies?

You: Yeah.. why?

me: You might not when it’s done..

You: What?

Me: Nevermind.. the singing is great.. You will really like the two leads! Neville Bowman was stellar as Sweeney and Kelly Whelan as Nellie Lovett was outstanding, fun, dark, zany and totally believable. I also really liked Darren Scuffi as the judges “henchman”, and Mark Wells as Pirelli!

You: You know if we were “really” having this conversation you would never remember everyone's names..

Me: Whatever. I have to say the person who really left an impression was Twyla Spittle who played the role of Tobias. I am sure that girl is going to have nightmares for the rest of her life.. she managed; funny, torture and endearment all in one role and did it all exceptionally well!

You: Nightmares?

Me: Just go see it. Oh! As always the sets were OUTSTANDING! I think the sets are always a good sign of the level of performance you are about to see and Kelowna Actors Studio always hits it out of the park! This set was multi leveled and spun around as locations changed.. kudus to Nate Flavel! The concept worked really well. I should also give a shout out to Sonja Janzen who did the costumes, perhaps some of the best I have seen at a KAS performance. (Special mention to Valeh’s leather boustier)

You: Leather?

Me: It’s hot... a la 1800’s British whore.

You: Sounds interesting..

Me: Basically you should most defiantly go and see it, it’s not for kids and it’s certainly not Oklahoma but entertaining through and through. I have seen a lot of shows at KAS and Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is the best “overall” show I have seen, all the pieces went together from sets to costumes to principles to ensemble to lights to props to produce a fabulous evening of entertainment. Outside of one scene, the show held me all the way through which isn’t easy considering I get up so early in the morning!

You: So you have nothing bad to say?

Me: The only draw back for me, is that because the cast and ensemble is so strong when there is a weakness it stands out but those moments are brief and the strength of everything else makes those moments diminish quickly.

You: You went with Steve, what did he think?

Me: Steve.. what did you think?

Steve: The chemistry between Sweeney and Mrs Lovett was amazing, I really liked the story and the dessert was yummy.

Me: Thank you Steve!

You: I have a hunch there might be some deeper theme’s to this production...

Me: Of course, but the great thing is you can look deeper or not and either way you will have a wonderful evening.

You: Have you forgotten anything?

Me: Of course I have, but I can’t forget to salute Director/Producer Randy Leslie, Executive Director Nathan Flavel and Music Director Roslyn Frantz. Well done! Your continued passion brings such wonderful entertainment to Kelowna, I truly appreciate it!

You: So you liked it eh?

Me: Yes!

You: You know I’m just you right? No one else is really here?

Me: Of course I do... Wanna go get some dinner?

You: Sure.. meat pies?

Kelowna Actors Studio is a dinner theatre and dinner was very good.
It was a buffet that consisted of;

Shepard's Pie, Chicken, Sweet Potato, Bow Tie Salad, Spinach Salad, Mixed Greens and dessert at intermission was a cheese cakey kinda chocolate raspberry thing which as Steve pointed out was yummy.

Who: Kelowna Actors Studio
What: Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
When: April 1st - April 25 (Thursday - Sunday evenings / Saturday Matinee)
Contact info:


Tex said...

I have always wondered what a conversation with yourself inside your head sounded like. I had assumed there would be a soundtrack, but otherwise it was frighteningly close to what I had imagined.

And it makes me want to see the play!!

Susan Knight said...

Truth be told.. the conversation in my head did involve a few more colourful words!