After weeks of remixing the voices singing Stephen Sondheim‘s complicated score, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” received its tuneful Gotham preem on Monday at the Ziegfeld.
“Everybody except one person is a pretty green singer,” admitted helmer Tim Burton. “We just tried to be faithful with it and tried to make it like an old Hammer horror movie.”
Gotham theatergoers seemed to appreciate Burton’s choices — the Broadway-heavy guest list, including former “Sweeney” Michael Cerveris, applauded after every song like an aud at a stage musical.
Burton said he picked the retro look to recall old movies with ubiquitous scores, making the constant musical background seem unforced.
The director readily agreed that the film is a departure from his past. “I’ve never done an R-rated musical before,” he laughed. “But I can sort of relate to the broody, internal characters.”