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Sweeney Todd: High School Edition! 
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Fresh Face
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Post Sweeney Todd: High School Edition!
Well, I just discovered this little tidbit. Our beloved Sweeney has been adapted for high school performances.

Unfortunately, its really not the same show. After doing the full version of Sweeney and seeing all the cuts and changes made to the score, it just doesn't feel right to me. I'm glad that performances of Sweeney will be increased, but at the same time its almost jipping the audiences out of the full, beautiful score. This video, albeit a concert version shows significantly what cuts have been made:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2zIQcOo8A30
Sweeney sings the letter, verse missing in NWIA and its in a lower key (totally ripping the audiences off from having that beautiful high note.) Thats only 3 significant ones in just this clip...

Anyway, maybe i'm just biased because I've had the opportunity to do the full show, but what do you guys think? It actually premeired in Las Vegas this past month, but I don't imagine actual widespread performances of this cut sweeney (no pun intended) will be seen til after the movie...


Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:51 am
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The changes made to this thing were most likely by choice of the directors, rather than some "High School Edition."


Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:23 am
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Fresh Face
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Post Yes... but...
You have a good point there. That could be true. However, I do know for a fact that there is a high school edition in the works. Las Vegas Academy just finished premiering it. I wasn't able to see the show, but I do know it happened, and I do know that Steven himself was involved with it. Google "Sweeney Todd High School Edition" and look at some of the articles that come up. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised...


Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:01 am
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Several years ago, when the Broadway Jr. program was being developed, MTI approached Sondheim and asked to "Junior-ize" one of his shows. He originally suggested Sweeney Todd... but they finally decided on Into the Woods.


Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:08 am
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Tony Winner
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There is indeed a HS version. But this is not it.
The HS version hardly has any cuts. It stays very true to the original score. All it does is take out a lot of the blood and it cuts the Judge's Johanna and (I believe Kiss Me?)...

In a review of the first production:

Quote:
The school edition has few changes to it, most of which will likely go unnoticed. There’s no blood spurting, and there’s no big barber chair with a chute. The victims of Sweeney’s razor walk in a sad daze down the stairs of the barbershop to put on a red coat, the preceding victim holding it for the new victim and helping to put it on. The Beggar Woman is a little subtler regarding what she’ll do for money, but still gets the point across.


There is also a Rent one. All that one changed was cutting Contact.

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Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:04 am
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^Even still, a lot of the changes described (i.e. the red coat) are more or less artistic choices of the director.


Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:49 pm
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Which means they aren't even technically cuts. So that is even better. Less cuts the better.

I do agree high schools should probably cut down the whoreishness of the beggar woman.

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Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:12 pm
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I heard about the HS version, and was really excited I had suggested to our director that we do it next year, since she had no idea what musical to do. She turned it down though , of course, because of the blood and questionable content and because our area is 65% Mormon. We'd never be able to do another show again. So the HS edition might be better suited for us. I'm glad to hear that all they cut is the gore and chair-with some school editions, they water it down so much that it's pretty much a concert.

Also, since we are tragically male talent-deprived, we need a show with mostly girls. Do you think ST fits the bill? There's at least one guy who could play Sweeney, a good Mrs. Lovett and Toby, and I've been told to audition for Beggar Woman if I get the chance...what do you think?

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Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:29 pm
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The biggest problem I see with a HS edition is the same problem i see with the regular version. That is, that the acting is extremely difficult as is much of the music.

More than likely, I will never attend a high school production of this show...it just doesn't seem right.

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Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:35 pm
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Well, this might help me convince my high school to do it.


Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:56 pm
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There is indeed a High School Edition. Once being a student at LVA, I saw the production and it does stay true to Sondheim's score, save for changing some of the lyrics, mostly the beggar woman when she is offering herself. She said something like, "Wouldn't you like to be my girlfriend, we'll have a jig-jig, a little bounce around the bush." The Judge's Johanna and Kiss Me are indeed cut. Other than that, most of the show is intact. Glen Edwards, the director, did a fairly decent job, though I didn't like the production as much as others that I have seen in the past.

EDIT: Looked back a realized that Kiss Me was in Las Vegas Academy's production of Sweeney Todd High School Edition.


Last edited by BenjaminB on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:48 pm
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Post Re: Sweeney Todd: High School Edition!
tobiasragg wrote:
verse missing in NWIA and its in a lower key (totally ripping the audiences off from having that beautiful high note.)


It's only a beautiful high note if you hit it, and honestly, after suffering through our horrendous Gavroche while I was in high school, I'm not sure I'd put a HS production up to the task.

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