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LETTERS

'Sweeney' music

December 02, 2007

"SWEENEY TODD" has been my favorite musical since I first heard the brilliant cast album in the late '70s. When Tim Burton was first mentioned as the director for the film version, I was overjoyed! Who could be a better choice?

I therefore read Paul Brownfield's interview with Tim Burton ["Tim Burton's Slasher Movie," Nov. 25] with great excitement. But my blood ran cold when I read the following sentence: "He (Burton) cut the show's famous opening number, 'The Ballad of Sweeney Todd.' "

Tim, how could you? Would you cut Julie Andrews singing "The Sound of Music" from the beginning of that film? I truly hope that the sentence following that one -- "Why have a chorus singing about 'attending the tale of Sweeney Todd' when you could just go ahead and attend it?" -- is simply Brownfield's lame-brained sentiment and that somewhere deep down Tim Burton knows very well why listening to a chorus sing Stephen Sondheim's mood-setting, scary, morbidly hilarious title song from this amazing musical is better than simply lurching straight into the story without it.

Considering that the theme is repeated several times by the chorus during the rest of the musical and also closes it, I can only shudder to wonder he's removed all of those portions as well.

Alan Sanborn

Los Angeles

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