Fox 411’s Roger Friedman ran into original Sweeney Todd creator Stephen Sondheim at last night’s Recording Academy’s New York Chapter’s Honors show, and asked if Sondheim has seen Tim Burton‘s movie version of the classic musical. Yes, Sondheim answered, and he likes it.
But “it’s not the Broadway show,” Sondheim cautioned. “It’s only an hour and 45 minutes. A lot of the score has been cut. They’ve made it its own thing. You have to go in knowing that. But what they’ve done is great.”
105 minutes with a lot of the score excised? That sounds like a good thing. You have to be nervy and authoritative in adapting any kind of stage show…anything from another performing realm that’s highly regarded. You can’t be too slavish and obsequious. A guy who’s seen it told me last night that on its own terms Burton’s film is very tight and together and self-defining. But it’s not an Academy film, the guy said, because “it’s too bloody.”