(Opening sequence consists of digital rain on digital London mixed with digital blood)
Digital Londoners: Ew!
Absent Ballad Ghosts: Admit it, film audience - you’ll miss us commenting on the action.
Film Audience: Not especially, no.
(A ship ominously pulls into port with its cargo of doom)
Anthony: <I’m too pretty to die>
Sweeney: <Wretch. Rock on!> (Strums an electric guitar)
Anthony: I’m curious as to what kind of name Sweeney is? Was it given because your parents hated you?
Sweeney: <I was young, normal, and stupid once, much as you are now. Then a pervy judge wanted my wife Lucy and shipped me off to the other side of the world that the native population calls home so he could take her> (To London) <But now I’m back, baby!> Thanks for saving me for my newfound life of crime and hair streaks.
Anthony: You’re welcome. It means I own you now, so I’ll be calling you on that shortly.
Sweeney: Gotta find me first!
(Runs at supersonic speed through the streets until he arrives at Mrs. Lovett’s food emporium. A sign outside reads ‘Bad Pies – Don’t Eat `Em’)
Mrs. Lovett: <Ooh, a boy! Here – eat something disgusting that’ll probably kill ya! It’s the best one in the shop! Above all, do not go to Mrs. Mooney’s cat-pie shop – that kind of practice is just wrong>
Sweeney: (Bites into a pie) My heavens, woman! How can you still be in business?!
Mrs. Lovett: <People pay me to stop singing!>
Sweeney: Well, it’s not that bad. This pie should be shot, though.
Mrs. Lovett: Please buy something. I may be reduced to selling myself soon, and that never ends well.
Sweeney: Why don’t you rent… the upstairs room? (Thunder booms)
Mrs. Sweeney: <Why? Because Benjamin Barker who was there last got thrown into the clink and his wife was ‘taken’ by a pervy judge and then poisoned herself, with the perv then stealing her kid as his own. Not an ideal bachelor pad>
Sweeney: Alack! Say it is not so! My heart breaks!
Mrs. Lovett: I knew it! You’re Benjamin Barker! Remember me, ol’ Mrs. Lovett, formerly of Mr. and Mrs.?
Mrs. Lovett: `Course you do, you used to bang on the floor every night telling us to keep it down, and I’d keep snatching your barber pole for laughs.
Sweeney: Oh yes, those were good times. But they are long gone! I must be avenged! (Crescendo, then silence) And restore my wife’s honor and possibly rescue my daughter.
Mrs. Lovett: Lovely. Here are your razors – not to give you any ideas, mind.
Sweeney: <Hello, babies. Did you miss your daddy? I missed you, coochie, coochie, coo>
Mrs. Lovett: <With both our spouses out of the way and us both being ‘lonely,’ let’s go ahead and get hitched, shall we?>
Sweeney: (Ignoring her and holding up a razor symbolically) Finally, I am a real man!
Mrs. Lovett: Not even listening to me; what a one-track mind.
(In Johanna’s room)
Johanna: <I wish I was a bird! I like feathers>
Judge: (Being pervy)
Anthony: (On street outside the house) A beautiful, familiar-looking daughter! I must have her!
Familiar-Looking Beggar Woman: <Gimme money!>
Anthony: Here you go, wretched soul. Who is that wondrous creature?
Familiar-Looking Beggar Woman: My daughter, but all you have to know is THE JUDGE HAS HER! Cackle cackle spit! Gimme more money.
Anthony: Sorry, wretched soul. Back to the gutter with you. (Escorts her there)
Judge: Boy! C’mere.
(Anthony goes into the Judge’s house)
Judge: Want some porn?
Anthony: Sure – I mean, no thanks.
Judge: Then stop peeping on my ward, you perv!
Anthony: From what I’ve heard, you shouldn’t be the one calling names.
(Beadle tosses him out)
Anthony: And rude. <Don’t worry, my love, I’ll take you away from these creeps. Whether you want me or not>
(At street market)
Toby: <Step right up to grow some hair!>
Sweeney: <This ‘elixir’ is highly unhygienic>
Mrs. Lovett: <Plus it stinks>
Pirelli: <I’m-a Italian-a! High five!>
Pirelli: A duel, then.
Sweeney: Ah look, the always-useful Beadle! He should be judge for this one occasion only.
Beadle: But it’s my day off.
(The men prepare to shave two unwilling volunteers)
Pirelli: (Takes his time) <This is a very dangerous profession. One slip and I could seriously nick myself>
Sweeney: (Eats lunch, changes his suit, and writes a letter before taking three swipes to shave his volunteer) Done!
(He pushes his volunteer, whose cheeks are bleeding, off the stage)
Beadle: I personally don’t groom myself, but maybe I’ll have you do it for me soon.
Sweeney: Sweet! And so it begins.
(At Mrs. Lovett’s)
Mrs. Lovett: You can have my DEAD husband’s comfy chair for your re-established barber shop. It’s yet another sign of my eligibility.
Sweeney: (Looking out the window for the Beadle) Where is that accessory before, during, and after the fact? My razor hand’s getting itchy.
Mrs. Lovett: <Patience>
Sweeney: (Waits) And….
Mrs. Lovett: And that’s it. I need some solos here too, you know.
(Pirelli and Toby enter through Sweeney’s apartment)
Sweeney: Oh balderdash, what’s all this?
Pirelli: Bon jour!
Mrs. Lovett: The little boy should come with me. Our place is in the kitchen. (She brings Toby to her shop on the ground floor)
Pirelli: (Now speaking with an English accent) You were my old boss and never gave me my tips!
Sweeney: I was? It’s possible – I’ve been terrible at recognizing people lately, and I’m sure it’ll come back to get me in the end.
Pirelli: Fine – forget the past, I want most of your money in the present. And your specialty cologne.
Sweeney: You do realize that the first rule of blackmail is never try it on a desperate man.
Pirelli: Noted. Now about the blackmail –
(Sweeney beans him with a teacup, followed by several spoons)
Toby: (Hearing the noise) They started gallivanting without me! (Runs upstairs)
Mrs. Lovett: Wait – ah, forget it. I’m sure Mr. T. just dropped something and all is well.
(Toby runs into Sweeney’s room)
Sweeney: Pirelli’s gone – forever.
Toby: I’ll just wait for him here, then.
(Pirelli’s hand, sticking out of a trunk, gives Sweeney the finger)
Sweeney: Toby, go tell Mrs. Lovett that, seeing as you have been aged considerably by a life of deprivation, I authorize her to get you crocked.
Toby: Yippee! (Runs back downstairs to Mrs. Lovett)
(Sweeney opens the trunk. Pirelli starts to get out)
Pirelli: Oy gevalt.
Sweeney: Let me help. (Pulls him up while absentmindedly holding a razor and accidentally slices his throat) Whoops! Didn’t mean that, honestly! (Tries using his fingers to plug up spurting holes, but Pirelli dies) My, but that was gross.
(Mrs. Lovett enters)
Mrs. Lovett: Did I miss anything? (Sees body) What the literally bloody hell? Are you insane?
Sweeney: (Biting a fingernail) It was self-defense?
Mrs. Lovett: Hmm. (Looks in trunk again) Ugh, it’s stained – who’s gonna clean all that up?!
(The Judge arrives shortly after they tidy up)
Judge: Shave me!
Sweeney: Shave yourself, you miserable – come right in, sir. (He prepares the Judge. To himself) <Now I’m going to do it without saying why. It’ll be all the more satisfying>
Judge: I’m marrying my ward.
Sweeney: In that case, I must sing to express the depths of how much I loathe thee. You’ll get a shave while I do it. <Girls are hot>
Judge: <Praise the Lord>
Sweeney: <They cause the world’s problems>
Judge: <I blame them entirely for all of my shortcomings>
Sweeney: <Now I smite you>
(Anthony bursts in)
Anthony: Excuse me, Judge – Mr. Todd, I require your aid in stealing the Judge’s ward.
Judge: Insolent pup, stop stalking my prisoner. Mr. Todd, seeing as you are friends with this troublemaker, I will no longer frequent your establishment. And I’m only tipping you 0.1%. (Tosses a coin at Sweeney’s chest and leaves)
Anthony: So anyway, I need you to –
Sweeney: You’re a frickin’ moron.
(Anthony leaves; Mrs. Lovett enters)
Mrs. Lovett: Did I miss anything?
Sweeney: <This is all your fault!>
Mrs. Lovett: Typical.
Sweeney: <That’s it! I will not rest until I accidentally kill the world with impeccable shaves at reasonable prices!>
Mrs. Lovett: Not to change the subject, but your stiff is starting to reek.
Sweeney: Ah, we’ll just throw him in the Thames with the rest of the rabble.
Mrs. Lovett: We could. (Looks at rival, cat-ridden pie shop) <Or we could eat him!>
Sweeney: Did you actually just say that out loud?
Mrs. Lovett: <Weren’t you paying attention earlier? I make terrible pies! So what could taste better than human flesh, I’d like to know?>
Sweeney: <But, but, but earlier you disapproved of Mrs. Mooney putting cats in her pies!>
Mrs. Lovett: <So?>
Sweeney: <So this is twice – thrice – unimaginably worse! What kind of sick freak are you?>
Mrs. Lovett: <One who loves irony>
Sweeney: <Ah, sweet irony; I never could resist you. All right, I’m sold!>
Mrs. Lovett: <So’s Pirelli!>
Both: <Mwahahaha! Mwahahaha!> (They cackle until the end of Act I)
(Sweeney constructs his chair of death, the better to slide people to Mrs. Lovett’s oven of death)
Sweeney: At least she gets to do the hard work of the actual dismemberment. Would anyone believe me if I said that all this throat slicing is accidental and I really am just the worst barber in London? Incidentally, that’s the charge the Judge got me arrested for – bet you didn’t know that.
(Mrs. Lovett has a big party for local cannibals)
Mrs. Lovett: <Toby! Get rid of that meddlesome victim!>
Familiar-Looking Beggar Woman: <This is disgusting! Plus, you’re shacked up with my man!>
Mrs. Lovett: <Not as shacked up as I’d like. Now off with you!>
(Anthony and Sweeney sing while Sweeney ‘shaves’ customers)
Anthony: <I love a girl I don’t know – something I’ve always wished would happen to me>
Sweeney: <I miss-> (slices) <whoops – my daughter-> (slices) <ah, sorry – my Johannnnaaaa> (slices) <Dammit!> Got another one for you, Mrs. Lovett!
Mrs. Lovett: (Speaking up through the chute after yet another body falls past her) You know, dear, while this has been a great boon for business, could you cut it down a bit and actually shave one or two people? That bobby’s been standing across the street for a whole week now.
Sweeney: I get nervous and start sweating when I perform.
Mrs. Lovett: Maybe if you stopped singing all the time!
Sweeney: Will do.
(They enjoy a quiet moment in a park)
Sweeney: It feels strange not being all washed out.
Mrs. Lovett: <All right, this is my big chance. I love you!>
Mrs. Lovett: <Marry me!>
Mrs. Lovett: <I’m actually an extraterrestrial>
Sweeney: All right.
Mrs. Lovett: Frustrating anti-hero, why don’t you love me?
Sweeney: Here’s a better question: Why on earth would you love me? I’m a homicidal psychopath who also has monomania and still loves his dead wife. I am a sick, sick barber.
Mrs. Lovett: But that’s what makes you so romantic!
Sweeney: (Pats her head) Sweet enabler.
Mrs. Lovett: Score!
Sweeney: No customers for me to involuntarily manslaughter today?
Anthony: Johanna is in a madhouse!
Sweeney: That’s funny, I’m the one who should be there. You can get her out by going there and asking for hair – no one will suspect a thing.
Anthony: Can the audience come and watch?
Sweeney: Anthony, we’ve talked about this. You've already used up your five lines of dialogue outside of my presence: now it’s singing or nothing.
Anthony: But –
Sweeney: Not another word! (Anthony leaves) Toby, send this letter to the Judge – oh, bile – saying that I have Johanna. Time to bring these shenanigans to a close.
(Later, Toby goes to Mrs. Lovett)
Toby: <You’re in danger! I’ll save you in spite of my diminutive stature!>
Mrs. Lovett: <Nonsense child; I am danger>
Toby: You have Pirelli’s purse! That seals it – Todd is a murderin’ loon!
Mrs. Lovett: Drat, cover’s blown. Toby, come with me to the oven. (Demonstrates preparation of ritual sacrifice) See? Nothing suspicious whatsoever. Now wait here so I can lock you in.
Sweeney: Wanna shave?
Beadle: Is that all you do?
Sweeney: Pretty much.
(In oven room, Toby eats a pie and finds a leg inside)
Toby: Methinks something is afoot – pun intended. (A shout of ‘Dammit!’ is heard and the Beadle’s body falls out of the chute) That’s weird. Why’d he fall down the chute just now?
(Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett wander through the sewer looking for the now-missing Toby)
Mrs. Lovett: <Come out, tot, we’re not gonna hurt you>
Sweeney: <But we are>
Mrs. Lovett: <Shut it!>
(Anthony and a disguised Johanna enter Sweeney’s room)
Anthony: Good, he’s gone and I can speak again. (To Johanna) Now you have to love me forever!
Johanna: I really just want my own life. Maybe being dressed as a boy will give me that.
Anthony: I need half an hour to get us out of here.
Johanna: Sure. What could happen in that short span of time? (Anthony leaves. Hearing a noise, she hides in the trunk) It smells like death in here.
(Familiar-Looking Beggar Woman breaks into the room)
Familiar-Looking Beggar Woman: <My old home. I think I’ll reassert my authority>
(Sweeney pops up at the door like a vampire)
Sweeney: Random woman, why are you here?
Familiar-Looking Beggar Woman: <I live here. Make me dinner!>
(Judge approaches from the stairs)
Sweeney: I don’t have time for this. Please be quiet – (Moves to shush her and accidentally slices her) Dash it, I did it again. Oh well. (Dumps her below)
Judge: Where’s my blushing bride?
Sweeney: Here. Hee-hee-hee!
Judge: You’re strange. Have you ever considered professional help?
Sweeney: No. Wanna shave?
Judge: Not from you.
Sweeney: Sure you do! (Body slams the Judge onto the chair) By the way, I’m the guy whose wife you stole.
Judge: Which one?
Sweeney: Yeesh. You know – Barber Barker. Heh, that sounds even stranger than ‘Sweeney.’
Judge: Oh, that one! Johanna’s dad! How’ve you been?
Sweeney: A little piqued, but I’m feeling better, thanks. Which reminds me. (Throws a glass of water into the Judge’s face) You’ve had that coming for a long time, sir. Now aren’t you ashamed.
Judge: (Sobbing) I am! So ashamed!
Sweeney: Just as long as you’ve learned your lesson. So, let’s forget all this ever happened and continue with your shave, shall we? (Accidentally slices him) Blast blast blast! (Judge convulses) And we could’ve been friends. Alas. (Dumps him down the chute. Sweeney stands in his room, looking at his razor, listening to the dramatic and thunderous music signifying his revenge is complete) Now what?
(Johanna foolishly stirs. He pulls her out of the trunk)
Johanna: I am but a blind deaf mute, sir!
Sweeney: All right, then. Off you go, familiar-looking boy.
(Mrs. Lovett screams. Sweeney goes down to the oven where the Judge is dying and clutching her dress)
Mrs. Lovett: Not my new gingham!
(The Judge dies)
Sweeney: It’s all good. Not exactly as I planned it, but it could’ve gone worse, I think.
Mrs. Lovett: I don’t care. (She drags the Judge to the open oven)
Sweeney: Half a tick. (He recognizes Familiar-Looking Beggar Woman) Familiar-Looking Beggar Woman was Lucy? Unbelievable – what are the odds?
Mrs. Lovett: And serves you right!
Sweeney: You said she died.
Mrs. Lovett: No I didn’t.
Sweeney: Yes you did.
Mrs. Lovett: No I didn’t.
Sweeney: Yes you –
Mrs. Lovett: <Didn’t didn’t didn’t! Weren’t you paying attention to the lyrics? I said she poisoned herself. Any idiot could’ve figured out the rest.>
Sweeney: <Oh> (Thinks back to Act I) <Oh right, you did say that. Wish you’d expounded a little; it might’ve saved us all a lot of trouble. And you wanted me to commit bigamy!>
Mrs. Lovett: <Yeah, about that. Sorry?>
Sweeney: <‘Sorry?' Not only is that against the law, Mrs. Lovett, it is morally wrong. Still, no harm done, I suppose>
Mrs. Lovett: <Exactly! Now, I’ve already made up the invitations – do you want to go ahead and contact the chapel or should I?>
Sweeney: Just a moment now – (He puts out his hands to stop her talking and accidentally pushes her into the oven. As she screams, he abashedly closes the door) Sorry! Don’t suppose she can hear me. (Goes to Lucy and holds her) <Guess I made a bit of a mess tonight. Maybe that bobby across the street’ll help me clean it up> (Toby quietly sneaks up behind him with a razor) <I think I may go to jail again – unless I do a runner. Maybe if I had just ratted out the Judge for corruption and moved on with my life, I would have normalized> (Thinks) <Nah> (Toby slices him)
Toby: Whoops. (Leaves)
Sweeney: Irony – abundant – dangit –
Lucy: Would you kindly direct that away from my face? It’s like a bleedin’ waterfall!
Sweeney: Right-ho. Happy Christmas, luv!