“Sweeney Todd” Stalks New York

While I was at the opera last night, practically next door at Lincoln Center Tim Burton screened about twenty minutes of “Sweeney Todd” for the Film Society. This morning, the Sondheim queens are buzzing on the theatre-chat sites about what Burton unveiled. The director’s treatment of the song “Johanna” has me especially tantalized. (Hint: bloody.) Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter has a story today about how Dreamworks, which is releasing “Sweeney,” is practically tearing its hair out trying to figure out how to market it. “This has many niche audiences that need to be dealt with, and they don’t really cross,” said Terry Press, the marketing guru who is consulting on the film for DreamWorks. “There are ‘Sweeney Todd’ freaks, there’s a sophisticated theatergoer crowd, there are the Tim Burton fans, and there are the young girls who love Johnny Depp. It’s like threading many needles.” And sharpening many razors.

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