Sweeney Todd in Concert (San Francisco, July 2001)
This is the second 'recorded' opportunity to hear Patti LuPone as Mrs Lovett, and the third occasion where George Hearn plays the Demon Barber of Fleet Street [previously: 1982 National Tour videorecording, 2000 NYPO performances].
I think if you listen to these two performers sequentially, it's amazing how their take on these two very iconic characters have evolved over the years. For Hearn, he's reprised this role over twenty years -- first as a replacement to Len Cariou in the original 1979 Broadway production, then creating the role on the first tour (1981), and here... we can hear him so many years later bringing a new depth to Sweeney Todd.
Patti LuPone doesn't have twenty years on the role, but her take on Lovett has become more focussed over the years. In listening to the 2000 NYPO version through to the 2001 SF performance into the 2005 revival, she's toned down the 'Patti-ness' that she always brings to the stage and made it a part of Lovett's characterization.
Even though we don't have Audra McDonald playing the Beggar Woman here, Victoria Clark (of later Light in the Piazza
fame) brings a different sound to Lucy.
On several occasions, I've seen postings of Sweeney Todd claiming to have the SF cast only to learn that it was the NYPO performances. I've liked Lonny Price's semi-staged concert productions... so this DVD joins my stack. :)( Raise Your Razor High... )