Delavan confirmed to Playbill On-Line that he will play nine performances of the knife-wielding Sweeney in the double-cast NYCO production, which runs March 5-28. Delavan will alternate the role with Timothy Nolen; Nolen will perform March 5, 6 (evening), 10, 13 (matinee), 20 (matinee) and 27. As previously announced, West End stage star Elaine Paige is scheduled to play the pie-baking Mrs. Lovett at most performances. Additional casting is expected shortly.
Mark Delavan has performed in opera houses around the world. At New York City Opera, he has appeared in productions of The Ballad of Baby Doe, Der Fliegende Hollander, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Mefistofelle and Falstaff. For more information about the baritone, visit www.geocities.com/Vienna/Strasse/8479.
The New York City Opera production will feature Harold Prince's original direction, staged here by Arthur Masella. Eugene Lee will design the sets, with costumes by Franne Lee, original choreography by Larry Fuller, lighting design by Ken Billington and sound design Abe Jacob.
Considered one of Stephen 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.
A recent 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."