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Stephen Sondheim Totally Approves of Landless Theater Company's 'Sweeney Todd - Prog Metal Version'

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Feb 19, 2014 02:50 PM EST

If the demon barber of Fleet Street bought an Aphex Twin album, you'd maybe get something approaching the Landless Theater Company's Sweeney Todd - Prog Metal Version, premiering at the Undercroft Theater in Washington, D.C. this August.

Surely, Stephen Sondheim should be irritated, right? No. The playwright has given the production his blessing--or his permission, to get technical.

At this point, the details remain a bit murky. Andrew Baughman, the company's producing artistic director said in an email that the creative team had yet to be determined. That team, though, should resemble the one behind Richard Campbell's Frankenstein.

In order to acquire the stage rights, Baughman sent what he considers a "Hail Mary" letter to Sondheim's agent.

And it totally worked!

As Sondheim, himself, said about Landless' new version, "Yes, I did indeed give them my OK on condition that they don't cut anything or change the order of things without my express permission."

"Since I believe that what keeps theater alive is its openness to reinterpretation from generation to generation, I look forward to seeing (and hearing) what they do," he continued.

Want a preview, perhaps, of just what a prog-metal remix of Sweeney might sound like? Take a chance on this one from Mr. Dee Snider.

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TagsThe Ballad of Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd - Prog Metal Version, Andrew Baughman, Aphex Twin, Richard Campbell, Frankenstein, The Landless Theater Company