Sweeney Todd in Concert at Lincoln Center

Here are the first five minutes of the New York Philharmonic’s concert presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, w/Emma Thompson, Bryn Terfel, and Audra McDonald.

I first saw Sweeney at the Kennedy Center on its post-Broadway tour, w/Angela Lansbury as Mrs Lovett.   She won a Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for originating the role on Broadway, and when PBS broadcast a taped version, it got her an Emmy nomination as well.

I’ve seen more than half a dozen revivals of Sweeney since then, but that first time was memorable for more than just the magnificent theatrical experience.  The week I saw Sweeney marked the end of a pretty unhappy time in my life, when I  finally broke out of a long period of depression and self-imposed isolation.  I came out of it in just about the best way I can imagine:  Within a few days, I saw not only  this masterpiece, but also Bruce Springsteen, live at the Capital Center.  Springsteen was at his peak, playing four-hour concerts that exhausted his worshipful audience.

So I experienced two monumental 20th Century cultural high points in a single week.

PBS broadcasted the full Lincoln Center performance, and someone has posted it to YouTube.


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