Standouts in a crowd: Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett (Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter) are a little off true, even by the standards of Victorian London. [Photo source: NPR/DreamWorks]
How to begin a musical about a barber who slashes his customers’ throats and a baker who grinds up their corpses to fill her meat pies? If you’re Tim Burton, you start by raining blood from the skies.
To the rhythms of Stephen Sondheim’s clashing chords, with their conscious echoes of Bernard Hermann’s horror-film scores, big red drops splash thickly on 19th-century London’s rooftops — rubies in a sooty, industrial landscape.