More than 1,000 Line Up for Sondheim Sweeney Signing

News   More than 1,000 Line Up for Sondheim Sweeney Signing More than 1,000 people got to meet Stephen Sondheim and the cast of Sweeney Todd Jan. 31 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

The composer and the cast of the current Broadway revival gathered at the theatre to sign CDs of the new cast recording. The Nonesuch release hit stores that same day.

The rare signing appearance by Sondheim was expected to draw a large crowd and it did. Lines snaked down the aisle of the O'Neill's orchestra section, through the lobby and down W. 48th Street. Nearly 1,100 people had their CDs signed by Sondheim and the entire cast. The artists were seated at a long table on the stage and armed with silver markers (so that their names would show up on the black CD cover).

Sondheim, who is not known to relish public events, was in good humor, smiling and chatting with the fans as they filed by.

The event began at 10 PM. Doors were closed at 11 PM and the signing continued until midnight. The CDs were sold in the lobby.

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John Doyle directs the new Broadway staging of the Sondheim musical which began previews Oct. 3, 2005, at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre toward a Nov. 3 opening night.

In a new conceptual take on the vengeful barber, the tale of Sweeney Todd is retold in the confines of an asylum where a distraught Tobias Ragg is locked up. Using only nine chairs, a ladder, and a coffin on two wooden horses on a stage assembled of wooden planks, 10 actor-musicians recreate the characters and events of Victorian era Fleet Street.

Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris (Assassins) stars in the title role opposite Tony Award winner Patti LuPone (Evita) as the lovable meatpie-maker Mrs. Lovett — her first Broadway musical role in 17 years.

Stars Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone are joined by John Arbo (musician on Good Vibrations) as Jonas Fogg, Donna Lynne Champlin (Hollywood Arms, James Joyce's The Dead) as Pirelli, Manoel Felciano (Shockheaded Peter, Brooklyn) as Tobias Ragg, Alexander Gemignani (Assassins) as The Beadle, Mark Jacoby ( Man of La Mancha, Show Boat) as Judge Turpin and Broadway newcomers Diana DiMarzio (as Beggar Woman), Benjamin Magnuson (as Anthony Hope) and Lauren Molina (as Johanna).

Tickets for Sweeney Todd at the Eugene O'Neill, 230 West 49 Street, are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or via the link below. For more information, visit www.sweeneytoddonbroadway.com.

From Left: Patti LuPone, Stephen Sondhein and Michael Cerveris at the CD signing.
From Left: Patti LuPone, Stephen Sondhein and Michael Cerveris at the CD signing. Photo by Aubrey Reuben