re: BIG SPOILER. DO NOT READ: Tveit and Foster in SWEENEY TODD today
Posted by: AlanScott 09:26 pm EST 02/12/24
In reply to: re: BIG SPOILER. DO NOT READ: Tveit and Foster in SWEENEY TODD today - lordofspeech 02:10 pm EST 02/12/24

Sondheim originally had counterpoint for Todd during "By the Sea" in which he sang "The woman's mad," but he cut it.

Sondheim has said that he does think Todd and Lovett are lovers. I personally never thought that, but instead though that "the woman's mad" when she intimates that they are, especially since I feel that elsewhere her lyrics can be interpreted as meaning that they had never had sex. And that was the way I interpreted them.

FWIW, Cariou did not think they had sex. And since I think he clearly played it that way, it seems odd that if Sondheim intended for them to be perceived as lovers, he didn't say something. Of course, we don't know what Wheeler believed, or at least I've never come across anything.

And I always thought, although I realize that others may disagree, that Lansbury's Lovett was frigid and possibly a virgin who had a white marriage with an older and somewhat disabled husband. (The dropsy line.) I felt that she thought she wanted Sweeney sexually, but if he had ever tried anything, she would have frozen. She liked people to think they were lovers. (That is made quite clear in the Bond play.) She liked him as a sort of possession, she liked to show him off.

Several years ago in a Sondheim group on Facebook, someone posted a letter from Sondheim that I thought I'd saved, but I can't find it. She had written to him asking this very question. He replied, IIRC, that he thought of them as lovers but it didn't matter much to him whether it was played that way.

Re the acrobatics in Foster's "By the Sea;" I think my friends felt it called way too much attention to Foster and away from the content of the song, perhaps in part because the audience at the performance they attended made so much noise during the song that it seemed unlikely many were hearing a lot of the lyric. And would Mrs. Lovett be that acrobatic? Anyway, I'm reminded of the King's line in The King and I: "English girls are so — acrobatic?"

Did the mess-up you mention at the end happen this past Sunday or back in 1979?
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