Attend the Tale: Concert Version of Sweeney Todd — with Terfel and Friedman — Presented July 5-7

News   Attend the Tale: Concert Version of Sweeney Todd — with Terfel and Friedman — Presented July 5-7 A concert version of Sweeney Todd — co-starring Bryn Terfel and Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman — will be presented July 5-7 to celebrate the reopening of London's newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall.
Maria Friedman with Sweeney Todd composer Stephen Sondheim.
Maria Friedman with Sweeney Todd composer Stephen Sondheim. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Directed by David Freeman, the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler work will play four performances July 5-7. Welsh opera star Terfel heads the cast in the title role with Olivier winner Friedman as the pie-baking Mrs. Lovett. The cast, according to the Southbank Centre's official website, also includes Adrian Thompson as Pirelli, Daniel Evans as Tobias, Steve Elias as The Beadle, Phillip Quast as Judge Turpin, Rosemary Ashe as the Beggar Woman, Emma Williams as Johanna and Daniel Boys as Anthony.

The production also features the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Stephen Barlow, the Maida Vale Singers and the chorus from the Guildford School of Acting. The creative team also includes Denni Sayers (choreographer) and Dan Portra (designer).

Considered one of Sondheim's masterpieces, Sweeney Todd originally premiered at Broadway's Uris Theatre on Feb. 6, 1979, with a cast led by Len Cariou (Sweeney) and Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Lovett), who both nabbed Tony Awards for their roles. Harold Prince directed the production, which was awarded the 1979 Tony for Best Musical. A 1989 revival at Circle in the Square Theatre featured Beauty and the Beast's Beth Fowler as Mrs. Lovett and former Evita star Bob Gunton as the man who returns to London to avenge the death of his wife.

Another major production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler work, which is based on a version of "Sweeney Todd" by Christopher Bond, was the Kennedy Center mounting, which starred Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski. A concert presentation of the musical, directed by Lonny Price and led by Tony winners George Hearn and Patti LuPone, confirmed the strength of Sondheim's score, which boasts such tunes as "The Worst Pies in London," "Johanna," "Pretty Women," "A Little Priest," "By the Sea" and "Not While I'm Around." Michael Cerveris and LuPone starred in the most recent Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, which was directed by Tony winner John Doyle.

Maria Friedman made her Broadway debut in The Woman in White playing Marian, a role she created on the London stage. She won her third Olivier Award for her performance as Mother in the West End production of Ragtime. She also won Oliviers for her one-woman show, Maria Friedman—By Special Arrangement, and for her work as Fosca in the London production of Sondheim's Passion. She received Olivier nominations for her roles as Dot in Sunday in the Park with George and Roxie in Chicago. Friedman's other stage credits include Lady in the Dark, Blues in the Night, April in Paris, Break of Day, Square Rounds, The Witches of Eastwick and Ragtime. She can also be seen as the Narrator in the film video of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Show times are July 5 at 7:30 PM, July 6 at 7:30 PM and July 7 at 2:30 and 7:30 PM.

For ticket information visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.

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