Monday, February 9, 2009

A Little Night Whedon?

I shouldn't have been surprised that Stephen Sondheim's name came up in the "Dollhouse" panel at Comic-Con on Sunday. (I was there only for professional reasons, of course!) Famed "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon, there to unveil his new Fox TV series, is a known admirer — and they're both artists who inspire cultish worship. A woman who'd seen Whedon wax about Sondheim at a panel four years ago in honor of the consumate musical theater composer-lyricist's 75th birthday wanted to know if he aspired to adapt and direct a Sondheim musical for the screen, and if so, which one.

Whedon was quite enthusiastic about the prospect, although he noted with some regret that the musical that most appealed to him was recently filmed by Tim Burton — "Sweeney Todd." Still, he didn't rule out the possibility of doing his own version somewhere down the line — which prompted a cry of "James Marsters as Sweeney Todd!" from an audience member. His second choice? Not "Assassins," which would have been my guess, but the wistful and romantic "A Little Night Music."

"I want to be on Broadway," he added, and broke into a few lines of Sondheim's "Broadway Baby." And Broadway could really use Whedon's passion, smarts and talent right now. Dr. Horrible meets Buffy on the Great White Way, perhaps?

This week I vow to find the time to re-watch Whedon's Internet musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," starring another Sondheim follower, Neil Patrick Harris. You should too.

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