Look Back at 39 Years of Sweeney Todd
Set in Victorian London, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, according to press notes, tells the story of the "eponymous barber who seeks vengeance on what he sees as a merciless world by murdering his customers and, with the help of his landlady, the romantically inclined Mrs. Lovett, bakes their bodies into meat pies, which are fed to London’s avid and unknowing populace."
With music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Wheeler, Sweeney Todd first opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre on March 1, 1979, directed by Harold Prince and starring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. The show received eight Tony Awards in 1979 — including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score — as well as 11 Drama Desk Awards and the Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.
The New York Philharmonic's March staged production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be telecast nationally on Live From Lincoln Center on PBS stations Sept. 26 from 9 PM-11:30 PM ET; check local listings.
Tony winner Audra McDonald, who plays the Beggar Woman, also serves as host.
The acclaimed, sold-out production co-starred bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in the title role and Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lovett in her Philharmonic de