I'll Steal You: Broadway Gypsy Offered Role of Tobias in New Broadway Sweeney Todd

News   I'll Steal You: Broadway Gypsy Offered Role of Tobias in New Broadway Sweeney Todd Manoel Felciano — currently of Shockheaded Peter and recently of Brooklyn – has been offered the role of Tobias in the upcoming Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Playbill.com has learned.

Manoel Felciano
Manoel Felciano

The new staging, to begin previews Oct. 3 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre towards a Nov. 3 opening night, will star Michael Cerveris (Assassins, The Who's Tommy, Titanic) in the title role.

The young actor has been offered the pivotal role of Tobias, according to the actor's agent. Patti LuPone will likely perform in the role of Mrs. Lovett, according to sources close to the production, with another role reportedly going to Donna Lynn Champlin. No casting beyond Cerveris has been officially announced.

Felciano was presented the "Gypsy Robe" for his turn in the ensemble of Brooklyn, the Musical. His other Broadway credits include Jesus Christ Superstar and Cabaret as well as the national tours of Saturday Night Fever and Whistle Down the Wind. Other credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Public Theater) and I Just Stopped By To See the Man (The Old Globe).

Steven Baruch, Thomas Viertel, Marc Routh and Richard Frankel will co-present Sweeney Todd with Ambassadors Theatre Group (which recently co-produced a run with The Watermill Theatre at the West End's New Ambassador Theatre). Adam Kenwright and Maidstone Productions are also attached to present the production on Broadway.

Director John Doyle — who staged the earlier London run of this production — will rejoin musical director arranger Sarah Travis. The unique staging casts actor-musicians to retell the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the (mostly corrupt) community in 19th-century London. A cast of nine actors (with no ensemble) will be required to perform on instruments ranging from flute, glockenspiel, trumpet and clarinet to piano, cello, accordion and double bass.

The new staging of Sweeney Todd still uses the now-famous music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, drawn from the adaptation by Christopher Bond. The story follows a vengeful barber named Sweeney Todd in Victorian England, and his neighbor, Mrs. Lovett, who owns a pie shop that has recently come into favor due to a surplus of meat.

The work made its Broadway debut Feb. 6, 1979 starring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury — both earned Tony Awards for their turns. Harold Prince directed the 1979 Tony Award winner for Best Musical. A 2002 revival of the work was seen in Washington, D.C. as part of the Kennedy Center's Sondheim Celebration with stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski.