My first encounter (and honestly first time hearing about it - remember, I'm from a country town of 10,000 people in the southeast corner of Missouri) was on the 2005 Tony awards - my only access to Broadway at the time.
They did not perform "A Little Priest" that night, but I was hooked. Throat slashing and cannibalism set to song - what more could a depressed teenager ask for?
It wasn't until YouTube came along that I was able to explore the full musical, and I was ecstatic when I head a movie was on the way directed by Tim Burton - the perfect gothic director.
I was even more excited to learn a friend of mine had become the official photographer for the movie, and was almost as excited to see her name in the credits (remember - sheltered Missourian) as I was at finally seeing a complete Sweeney performace.
I know the film received mixed review - often siting Helena Bonham Carter's singing ability, or lack there of, but having never seen another version, I thought it was a great adaption.
I hope to someday see Sweeney Todd on stage, and I am sure I will get the change, but until then, my options are YouTube and Tim Burton. I can handle that for the time being.
As usual, let me know who you think did it best. I had trouble finding original cast recordings, so if you can find them, give us the link in the comments.
Guard your throat and grab a pie - and let the sing-off begin.