Sweeney Todd Takes His Final Slice on Broadway Sept. 3; Tour Planned

News   Sweeney Todd Takes His Final Slice on Broadway Sept. 3; Tour Planned Broadway's current revival of Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, will end its run Sept. 3, producers announced late July 30. A national tour is in the works.

Michael Cerveris in Sweeney Todd.
Michael Cerveris in Sweeney Todd. Photo by Paul Kolnik

By the end of its run, the production will have played 349 performances and 35 previews. The forthcoming national tour is slated for an end-of-summer 2007 start.

John Doyle directed the new Broadway staging of the Stephen Sondheim musical, which began previews Oct. 3 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and opened Nov. 3. Director Doyle as well as orchestrator Sarah Travis took home 2006 Tony Awards for their work.

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, ten actor-musicians re-create the characters and events of Victorian era Fleet Street.

The Sondheim score (with the book by Hugh Wheeler from a Christopher Bond adaptation) is performed (in full view of the audience) by the acting company, who play instruments ranging from tuba, trumpet and clarinet to cello, accordion and bass.

Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone are joined in the production 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). Cerveris, Lupone and Felciano were nominated for Tony Awards. Produced by Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, and the Ambassador Theatre Group, Adam Kenwright & Tulchin/Bartner/Bagert, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street recouped its initial $3.5 million investment in 19 weeks. The cast recording is available through Nonesuch Records.

Director Doyle previously mentioned the possiblity of the show touring, noting casting would perhaps not be a concern. "It's so interesting how many people who have come out of the woodwork who can suddenly [act, sing and play an instrument]."

"What's exciting about it, though, is it means that the kind of performer that gets to be part of the work might not get cast in a production [like this] under other circumstances. Yet, [this theatrical technique] allows you to go against type — whatever that means — because types don't carry trombones."

The end of Sweeney Todd leaves a Broadway house open to many suitors. Variety purports that two musicals — Atlantic Theater Company's Spring Awakening and High Fidelity — have their eyes set on the space.

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.

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