Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello Join Cast of Sweeney Todd April 11

Off-Broadway News   Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello Join Cast of Sweeney Todd April 11
New leads join the Off-Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim classic following the departure of the original London stars.
Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello
Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello

Following the departure of the original London stars of the Tooting Arts Club immersive staging of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, several New York favorites—including two Tony nominees—step into the lead roles at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, NYC).

Beginning April 11, the cast is led by Tony nominee Norm Lewis (as Sweeney Todd), Tony nominee Carolee Carmello (as Mrs. Lovett), Jamie Jackson (as Judge Turpin), John-Michael Lyles (as Tobias), and Stacie Bono (as Pirelli & Beggar Woman). The cast also includes Matt Doyle (as Anthony), Alex Finke (as Johanna), and Brad Oscar (as The Beadle) as well as Colin Anderson, Liz Pearce, and Monet Sabel.

Check out photos from the production below:

The new company members succeed British stage stars Jeremy Secomb (as Sweeney Todd), Siobhán McCarthy (as Mrs. Lovett), Duncan Smith (as Judge Turpin), and Joseph Taylor (as Tobias), who played their final performances in Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd April 9.

Directed by Bill Blackhurst, the production began previews February 14 prior to an official opening March 1. Sweeney Todd extended its Off-Broadway engagement through December 31.

In keeping with the original Tooting production and the West End transfer, “pie and mash” is available for purchase by all audience members prior to every performance, served communally in the pie shop, where the production is set.

Sweeney Todd features music and lyrics by Sondheim, a book by Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond, set and costume designs by Simon Kenny, music supervision and arrangement by Benjamin Cox, music direction by Matt Aument, lighting design by Amy Mae, sound design by Matt Stine, casting by Telsey + Company / Cesar A. Rocha, CSA, and production stage management by Richard A. Hodge.

This production of the tale of blood-thirsty barber Sweeney Todd and resourceful pie-shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett, according to press notes, “immerses audiences in a completely new theatrical experience. This Sweeney Todd comes to New York City following sold-out runs in London where the show debuted in Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop, the oldest continuously operating pie shop in the city, before transferring (by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh) to a West End venue on Shaftesbury Avenue. The working pie-shop environment will be re-created at the Barrow Street Theatre.”

Sweeney Todd is produced by Rachel Edwards, Jenny Gersten, Seaview Productions, Fiona Rudin, Barrow Street Theatre, Jean Doumanian, Rebecca Gold, and Nate Koch (executive producer).

Former White House Executive Pastry Chef William “Bill” Yosses serves as the production’s official pie maker throughout the New York run.

Lewis received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations for his performance as Porgy in the Broadway production of The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. Other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who’s Tommy. In London’s West End he appeared as Javert in Les Misérables and Les Misérables: The 25th Anniversary Concert, which aired on PBS. Lewis made history as The Phantom of the Opera’s first African American Phantom on Broadway. Off-Broadway Lewis has performed in Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination, AUDELCO Award), Shakespeare in the Park’s The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League nomination), Captains Courageous, and A New Brain. His regional credits include Porgy in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (A.R.T.), Ragtime, Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holliday), First You Dream, Sweeney Todd, and The Fantasticks.

Carmello has appeared in 14 Broadway musicals. Most recently, she was seen as Mae Tuck in Tuck Everlasting and as Mrs. du Maurier in Finding Neverland (earning a Drama Desk nomination). She received both a Tony nomination and Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal of Aimee Semple McPherson in Scandalous. Broadway audiences also saw her as Mother Superior in Sister Act, as Mrs. Beineke in The Addams Family (Drama Desk nomination and Outer Critics Circle nomination), as Donna in Mamma Mia!, as Gabrielle in Lestat (Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination), as Ms. Pennywise in Urinetown, as Kate in Kiss Me, Kate, as Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel, as Lucille Frank in Parade (Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award), as Abigail Adams in 1776, as Cordelia in Falsettos, and as Oolie in City of Angels.

Jackson has appeared on Broadway in Doctor Zhivago, The Last Ship, and Soul Doctor. Off-Broadway credits include The 39 Steps and Katie Roche. He has appeared in Lincoln Center concerts of The Secret Garden and Sweeney Todd. He toured nationally in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and worked regionally at Goodspeed Opera, Pioneer Theatre, and Fulton Opera.

Lyles has appeared Off-Broadway in The Flick (Barrow Street), Brooklynite (Vineyard), and Jasper in Deadland (Prospect). He also appeared recently in the City Center Encores! production of 1776.

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