Posted by : Ruby Escalona Tuesday, December 15, 2009



Last December 6th, I was lucky enough to get second row orchestra side seats to Repertory's rendition of Sweeney Todd.

Starring Audie Gemora as Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker and Menchu Lauchenco-Yulo as Mrs. Lovett, the musical is about a British urban legend where a demon barber from Fleet Street goes around, seeking revenge, slashing the necks of his customers, and in turn, their bodies are being used as uh... filling for Mrs. Lovett's Pies.

Everyone pretty much knows the story of Sweeney Todd, right? Then I'd better not dwell much on the story and on to the review.  First off, the music -- I love, love, love it! I first saw the musical via the film adaptation starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter [which I dubbed "Sweeney Todd - The Harry Potter version, since the cast members playing Bellatrix, Peter Pettigrew & Severus Snape were in the movie] and I loooooooved it. My mom, on the other hand, thought that it was too gory so she stepped out of the room while I was watching it on HBO.

In this Repertory version, Audie Gemora played a wonderful Sweeney Todd. He had all the facial expressions of boredom and "I could not be bothered" looks to Mrs. Lovett while she is busy trying to profess her love for him! LOL! Menchu Lauchenco-Yulo was also brilliant, but of course, not as brilliant as Audie Gemora. The rest of the characters [Franco Laurel as Anthony and Lena McKenzie as Joanna] were also quite good.

The set was awesome. My favourite part was the steaming oven! Awesome, awesome! Plus the trapdoor where the dead people fall into from the barber's chair was nice! Lighting = superb! Sound = superb as well!
Soundtrack = ahhh... my favourite part! It's been a week since I've seen the play and the lines "I feel you Joanna....." are still stuck in my head.

If I had to choose which one's better between the movie & the local production, then I'd say the local production! Well, nothing beats the real deal, doesn't it? Of course, there's always the movie to fall back on everytime I need a dose of the musical [and Johnny Depp hotness amidst all that makeup too].
Quite a shame the run ended last Sunday [December 13th]. However, if it would be shown again on additional runs [I dunno when though], do watch it! :)

For next year, I am looking forward to the following repertory productions:
Romeo & Bernadette [February 2010 -- same month as I'm going to watch the local adaptation of RENT!]
Little Women [November/December 2010 -- their big musical and directed by Menchu Lauchenco-Yulo!]

Till then! :D


** all photos from Broadway World - Philippines **

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