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Sweeney Todd Forum


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To pull-a da toot' (or to leave it in) 

Should the tooth-pulling sequence be included in SWEENEY TODD?
Yes, it should be kept. 47%  47%  [ 7 ]
No, it should be cut. 53%  53%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 15

To pull-a da toot' (or to leave it in) 
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Post To pull-a da toot' (or to leave it in)
In the original production of Sweeney Todd, "The Contest" featured a section where Todd and Pirelli showed their skill at dentistry. This was cut because it made the first act drag in the middle, although part of it was included on the OBC. The section is now optional in the licensed version of the show.

So what do you think? In or out? And why?

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Last edited by RainbowJude on Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:13 am
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Post Re: Too pull-a da toot' (or to leave it in)
RainbowJude wrote:
So what do you think? In or out? And why?


I think it should be kept because it is so fun. The lyrics are fun and the situation is fun, and it shows what a prick Pirelli is. And it's plausible that Pirelli's like a second chance to try and win over Sweeney Todd before giving in (after he's had time to recognise Benjamin Barker and figure out a plot).

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Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:17 am
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Post To pull-a da toot' (or to leave it in)
Cutting this section was a wise choice and it should remain cut. The other half of the contest achieves what needs to be achieved in this section of the show. It may be fun, but it's fat. We've already had plenty of time to see what a prick Pirelli is and the sequence basically repeats the pattern of the previous contest without adding anything required for the show to work optimally. It makes the show sag when it should be moving forward. Unlike "Johanna", which was cut for the same reason, the second contest doesn't give us anything we need in the bigger picture of the show as a whole.

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Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:23 am
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Post Re: To pull-a da toot' (or to leave it in)
RainbowJude wrote:
It may be fun, but it's fat. We've already had plenty of time to see what a prick Pirelli is [...]


I agree that the sequence isn't really necessary for the show, and is sort of fat. But I'd argue that even if we already know Pirelli is a prick, pulling someone's tooth without it being necessary is not only unpleasant, it's cruel.

Also, Sweeney Todd fat is better musical theatre than the best of most other musicals ;)

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Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:08 am
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Post Re: To pull-a da toot' (or to leave it in)
Hans wrote:
RainbowJude wrote:
It may be fun, but it's fat. We've already had plenty of time to see what a prick Pirelli is [...]


I agree that the sequence isn't really necessary for the show, and is sort of fat. But I'd argue that even if we already know Pirelli is a prick, pulling someone's tooth without it being necessary is not only unpleasant, it's cruel.

Also, Sweeney Todd fat is better musical theatre than the best of most other musicals ;)


I agree with that... Also, besides showing just how awful Pirelli could be to Toby, it establishes the time period -- many modern audiences apparently aren't aware that barbers in the 19th century and earlier did tooth extractions and other minor surgeries, so keeping that scene in keeps us a bit more grounded in the period. (It also helps clever audience members realize that the sight/smell of at least some blood in your barber's shop wouldn't have been all that worrisome, hence why Sweeney still keeps getting customers.)

One thing that irks me a bit is when productions that cut the tooth-pulling scene still keep in Sweeney's line that he "can shave a cheek and pull a tooth..." We're still waiting on that second one, Mr. T! ;)

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Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:03 pm
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