Monday, April 07, 2008

Sweeney Todd

Anh took me to Sweeney Todd last Friday at the Ahmanson Theatre. We had some of the best seats in the house, center orchestra. The theatre itself was nice besides the seats which were far from comfortable.

When people watch movies, read books, see plays, eat food, they form opinions based off the best and worst they've experienced. From these opinions, they can not only conclude whether or not they liked it but by how much and why. My opinions for Sweeney Todd came from a scale where the best were masterpieces such as "Les Miserables" and "Phantom of the Opera" to the worst which consisted of some plays I'd seen in grade school. Don't get me wrong, some of the plays I saw in grade school actually rank pretty high. I not only consider talent but I factor in professionalism. When I see a school play, I expect less as most of the performers are inexperienced. When I go to a Broadway play, I expect to see some of the best talent out there.

There weren't very many performers in Sweeney Todd. There was no orchestra because the performers were the ones who actually produced all the music. They never changed costumes and the scene had one single backdrop that really wasn't all the pertinent to the play. They had a couple props such as a ladder and a coffin; these weren't taken off stage when not in use but instead just moved to the side. Costumes were simple and the only addition were jackets that were worn to portray death. I had my favorite singers but they all seemed to be comparable in their acting abilities.

We decided to watch the movie yesterday to see how it compared to the musical. I thought the movie was also "good." As far as physical appearances go, some actors in the movie seemed more fitting for their roles than the musical had and visa versa.

Etiquette. Maybe it's because I was raised in a family where my parents strongly enforced etiquette, but I find myself critical of others' etiquette. I was always taught that apparel matters. There's a time and a place to dress down; in fact, sometimes overly dressing can be bad. When I was young, going to a special event usually meant dressing up, either nice pants (not jeans) or a dress. I always related it to how "nice" the event was. For example, if it was an orchestra concert held at a nice venue, I'd dress up. I've also added another factor, dressing up is a respect issue. Dressing up at an orchestra concert shows your respect to the musicians. You're implying that their level of talent and the music performed is reason to show your utmost respect.

I often hear the "nice jeans" excuse. In some ways, this is a legitimate excuse but it doesn't always work. Just because you paid $250+ on a pair of jeans doesn't make them become dress pants. Yes, they might be very nice jeans but that's just it, they're still jeans. There's times when it's ok to still wear your jeans and there's other times where even if you paid $1,000 on those jeans, it's still not appropriate.

What's my point? I was shocked to see how people dressed for Sweeney Todd. Most of the inappropriately dressed were teenagers and younger but isn't that the point? Shouldn't their parents teach them while they are young? What makes them think that they will change their ways when they grow up? Wearing a hoodie and jeans to a well respected musical is not ok.

Anh wore a suit, I wore a dress.


Reynolds Family said...

I totally know what you mean. Maybe it's because we were raised in the same family;) Anyway, we took the kids to the Nutcracker at the San Francisco ballet(very nice)and we were all dressed in Sunday best(Christmas dresses-very fancy)and there were people in jeans and hoodies! Yikes. I was very disappointed-at the jeans not the ballet.

Abby Q. said...

yes! i totally agree i'm so glad you feel the same way about dressing up for events like these! people are so lazy, and you're right, just b/c you think you're cool for spending $500 on jeans doesn't mean they're formal at all. anyways i'm glad you know what's up young lady! :)