Original Sweeney Todd Material
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Author:  MSam [ Wed May 09, 2012 7:22 am ]
Post subject:  Original Sweeney Todd Material

I'm really fascinated with all the material and original arrangements that Sondheim had written for Sweeney that didn't make the cut into the final show. I've included the original proposed or written lyrics that Sondheim wrote and also some of the ideas that he wanted to make but didn't end up making it to light. Apparently at one stage in the production he had eight ideas he wanted to write songs around, but he only ended up solving five of them. Anyway:

No Place Like London
[*]Sweeney to sing additional lyrics
. . . memory of ship bells.

[*]Sondheim stated that if he could, he'd totally rework this song (not sure what's stopping him). Wanted Sweeney to be in a trance like state repeating what Lovett says, before lashing out in the middle and having her subsequently calm him down.

By the Sea
[*]Originally to be a duet, with Sweeney starting to become uncomfortable with Mrs. Lovett's ramblings.
God the woman's mad.
This is very bad.
Anything you say.

Parlour Songs
[*]Sondheim originally wanted to have Mrs. Lovett poison the Beadle, but the Beadle, thinking that she poisoned only one, switches the cups around. Both drink poison and die, leaving Toby to sing the Tower of Bray alone.

City on Fire!
[*]Extended section with Johanna and the lunatics, during the run across the bridge (in the tune of Kiss Me!):
May be maimed in a brawl, or an accident, met another girl, and I had no way to guide you, so I sang!
Day in, day out, I thought I'd drop and still I sang!
The loonies begged me "Please, Stop!" but I sang
Green Finch and Linnet bird! Green Finch and Linnet bird! Green Finch and Linnet bird! etc

Final Sequence
[*]Minor re-arranging of Lovett's words in the Poor Thing reprise.
[*]Sweeney sings a reprise of Not While I'm Around while cradling the corpse of his wife.

(Source: "Sondheim on Music" by Mark Eden Horowitz.)

Anyone else have anything to add?

Author:  Stormin Norman [ Fri May 18, 2012 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Original Sweeney Todd Material

This is really interesting, or at least for me. I haven't really been able to find a whole lot of early draft material for Sweeney Todd, so I'm glad you posted this.

On YouTube there are a couple of recordings from the first preview of the show. In that version of the "Final Sequence", you can hear not only Sweeney's reprise of "Not While I'm Around", but a little cut scene with Anthony and Johanna. I can't for the life of me understand what they're saying, but it sounds like they meet Toby or something.

The channel also has the recording of "By the Sea" from the same preview. It has a couple of small differences and cuts, but again I can't really make out the words very well.

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