Quentin Tarantino and Stephen Sondheim. An unlikely pairing, yet appropriate considering both artists’ pinnacle accomplishments are tales of violent, bloody revenge.
Tarantino spoke to me on the commentary track of Kill Bill when he said that revenge was the only motivation necessary for a movie—in the case of Kill Bill, two brilliant movies clocking in at over four combined hours.
This being a theater blog, my focus is Sweeney Todd, recently revived in a stellar production at Aurora’s Paramount Theater. Is Sweeney Sondheim’s best work? For most of my life I would have said Into the Woods, a soundtrack I learned by heart after my first viewing at the Marriott in 1990. Sweeney, in contrast, has never been a musical that I could sing along with, but with each successive viewing I am increasingly mesmerized by Sweeney’s plight.