Different Lovetts: Which One is the Best?
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Author:  greenelphiexoxo [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:01 am ]
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I think all of them played Mrs. Lovett brilliantly but with completely different interpretations.

Angela was pretty wicked and just as, or most likely more evil than Sweeney's character.
HBC played it more as a tragic, obsessive character that longed for Sweeney and did anything for him.
I haven't seen enough of Patti to judge her, but she is my favorite, vocally.

Author:  Disney-Bway27 [ Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:08 pm ]
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Lansbury hands down.

I LOVE Lansbury's performance beyond belief.
In its own right, HBC's performance was brilliantly acted. Singing? Not so much.
LuPone's my least favorite. Even vocally, I just didn't like her in the slightest.

Author:  wtfchuck [ Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:40 pm ]
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I love both Lansbury and HBC. I feel HBCs character is much more interesting and entertaining, but not as good singing-wise as Lansbury.

IMHO Lupone is pretty poor really.

Author:  Salome [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:27 am ]
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I lIke HBC but Lansbvury has alot more layers to her performance. how can you not see that??

Author:  Damask and Dark [ Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:29 am ]
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Salome wrote:
I lIke HBC but Lansbvury has alot more layers to her performance.

I think so too. I thought HBC was a good acting choice for movie Lovett, even though her voice left something to be desired. Her character was much easier to figure out, though. For everything she did, we basically knew why she was doing it. For example, it's obvious from the start that she has feelings for Sweeney. However, with Lansbury's silly, cheerful, mothering Lovett, we are left guessing as to what is really going on in her mind. I thought both did a very good job in their own mediums, but Lansbury will always be #1 to me. In a way, a cheerful Lovett is actually much more creepy. HBC obviously felt guilty about locking Toby up and stuff, but Lansbury seems to have almost no conscience at all.

Author:  Canadian Drama Geek [ Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:32 pm ]
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Ooh, this is a hard one...

I have a soft spot for Patti LuPone's Lovett, mainly because it was the revival soundtrack that introduced me to the show, but I can easily see the (many) flaws in her performance, total lack of character not the least of them. And though I'm a huge fan of her voice, I have to say she wasn't at her best for this. (and her cockney accent sucked balls)

Personally, I like Lansbury's Lovett, just because of the antique way she plays the role. Lovett is completely over-the-top and straight from a penny-dreadful when Lansbury plays her, but at the same time there's biting humanity in it. It's almost Shakespearean.

However, her singing was a little grating. I understand if this was a way for the character to be conveyed in an even more three-dimensional way, but I have a little philosophy- when someone's in a musical, they should be able to make their songs at least a little pleasant. If Lansbury had tried that sort of thing in an opera house, she would have been hissed, excellent characterization be damned (I'm not saying that Sweeney Todd is an opera, God help me, I'm just trying to make a parallel).

Helena Bonham Carter's Lovett was great for the film medium, but if she tried that sort of thing on a stage, she would have been booed, subtle performance be damned.

In closing, I think that Mrs. Lovett is one of those roles that is too big and too perfect for any one person to inhabit comfortably. It's not a complete phenomenon; you can find loads of these roles in the opera house, on Broadway, and in the Classical theatre. I don't think I'll be able to be satisfied by one person simply because Mrs. Lovett has taken a life of her own, and anyone else is an impostor.

Schizophrenic post finished. :lol:

Author:  High-baritonne [ Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:07 pm ]
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Helena Bonham Carter was the worst part about the movie. Her acting doesn't convince me a bit, and she stops acting every time she start to sing. Her portrayal is dull and overall just the same, I don't see any sort of development in her! At least with Lansbury and LuPone we could both see and her how their lies made them worried that one day Sweeney my find out, there for they want to travel to the sea, etc. But with Carter I don't feel the desperation. With Lansbury and LuPone, especially LuPone, I feel how she is getting more and more worried.

Author:  actor [ Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:45 pm ]
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Just because Carter's performance was subtle and reserved doesn't mean she was bad. Her acting was very suitable for screen. Obviously it wouldn't have worked on stage (just as Lansbury's performance wouldn't have worked on screen) but she's a great actress - she understands that. I could see all of Lovett and all of what you described in there - it just wasn't in your face, which I kinda liked. It makes Lovett that bit more manipulative.

Author:  iLovett [ Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:21 pm ]
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Angela Lansbury. I really love her interpretation. I find it spotless! =D>
She's so loopy and mad, yet you can tell she's a motherly woman at heart and she's so dilusional about her feelings for Sweeney.

I actually liked Helena Bonham Carter's Mrs. Lovett, but Lansbury fit the bill more in my opinion. I really liked HBC's way of playing her character in certain scenes (mainly the emotional scenes).

Two of my favorite non-professional Lovett's are Mica Burnes and Ashley Braxton. (search for them on YouTube; they're great!)

Author:  elizabethjaneforrest [ Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:04 pm ]
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Two of my favorite non-professional Lovett's are Mica Burnes and Ashley Braxton. (search for them on YouTube; they're great!)

Wasn't fond of Mica at all, but Ashley was AMAZING!

Author:  Quique [ Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:04 pm ]
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I'm in the minority, but I have NEVER found Angela's Lovett to be looney, wacky, silly, goofy, or funny. All I've ever seen is dangerous, uneducated, little to no conscious, morals, or empathy.

Any wackiness is actually Angela projecting her character to the rafters of the theatre, which is typical of theatre performance. The only moments I'd label "silly" are her little dance during "A Little Priest" and "By the Sea" but that's more like giddiness at the thought of spending her life with Todd as a married woman.

How anyone could muster enough nerve to feel giddy after watching innocent men die horrible deaths and then cutting them up and making meat pies out of them, I'll never know. But Angela's Lovett sure seems to have it in her and that's terrifying.

Author:  AlmostHolly [ Tue May 18, 2010 4:18 pm ]
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greenelphiexoxo wrote:
Angela was pretty wicked and just as, or most likely more evil than Sweeney's character.
HBC played it more as a tragic, obsessive character that longed for Sweeney and did anything for him.

I had always struggled to contrast and describe HBC's Lovett and Lansbury's Lovett in words, but you just did it perfectly.

I love both their interpretations, but Angela Lansbury is definitely my favorite Lovett. Maybe I'm just biased because she was the first Lovett I ever saw, but I love her performance-- both vocally and acting-wise. Her vocals weren't very polished, which is actually the reason why I enjoyed her songs so much. She sounded like she was having fun and being, well, Mrs. Lovett. My only wish is that she had played up her desire for Sweeney more. One of my favorite parts of Mrs. Lovett is her unrequited love for Sweeney, but Angela never really brought that through too well for me.

Helena's performance broke my heart (in a good way!). Her Lovett was so tragic and willing to do anything for Todd that I felt sorry for her, especially when she locked Toby in the meat grinding room. The look on her face in that scene still makes me feel emotional. Lansbury's Lovett never made me feel any sort of emotion like that, which is one reason why I appreciate HBC's Lovett so much. When someone first told me about Sweeney Todd before I saw the 1982 taped Lansbury/Hearn version, I always pictured Lovett as reserved, tragic, and trapped. Then my romantic vision of the character got blown to pieces when I saw Angela play her, but I loved her Lovett nonetheless. Helena's Lovett is the type of Lovett I always wish was acceptable to be portrayed on-stage (though I know "stage Lovett" should be vibrant and bold), just because I loved the tragic aspects of her interpretation-

Two great Lovetts; both my favorites. Their portrayals are both very different, but they're both good ways to play the character. Overall though, I think HBC's is more fit for the screen than the stage.

I'm also a huge fan of Patti LuPone's Lovett during the Sweeney Todd in Concert performance, but not so much in the revival show. I'll definitely be ordering a copy of the concert DVD soon. I think she was pretty much spotless in the concert version, but--and I understand that the revival is a completely different take on Sweeney Todd, but nevertheless--I was disappointed with the subtlety of her Lovett during the revival.

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