Sweeney Todd features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, drawing from the play by Christopher Bond (itself based on characters created by British journalist George Dibden-Pitt, who adapted his 1830s penny dreadful tale into a popular stage melodrama). The story follows a vengeful barber (Sweeney) in Victorian England and his neighbor (Lovett) who owns a pie shop that becomes popular due to a surplus of fresh meat.
This unique staging casts actor-musicians to retell the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and company. A cast of 10 (with no ensemble) perform on various instruments ranging from flute, trumpet and clarinet to cello, accordion and bass in addition to their acting and singing duties.
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. The ten-member ensemble also features 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).
All photos by Paul Kolnik.