The New York Philharmonic concert presentation of Sweeney Todd, starring Academy Award winner Emma Thompson and opera star Bryn Terfel, will be filmed for a future national broadcast on PBS' "Live From Lincoln Center."
Lonny Price, who directed and produced the Philharmonic’s productions of Sondheim’s Company in 2011, Sondheim The Birthday Concert! in 2010, and Sweeney Todd in 2000, stages the concert presentation that runs March 5-8 at Avery Fisher Hall.
PBS has not determined when the concert will air. It is produced by Price and Matt Cowart.
Price's 2000 staging of Sweeney Todd, which starred George Hearn (replacing Terfel) and Patti LuPone, was filmed in San Francisco and also broadcast on PBS in 2001. It is currently available on DVD.
Bass-baritone Terfel (Ring Cycle, Falstaff, The Marriage of Figaro) stars in the title role, with Thompson ("Howards End," "Sense and Sensibility") making her New York stage debut as pie-maker Nellie Lovett. The cast also features Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, "Smash") as Pirelli, with Philip Quast (Les Misérables, Sunday in The Park with George) in his New York stage debut as Judge Turpin, Jeff Blumenkrantz (Murder for Two, Candide) as The Beadle, Jay Armstrong Johnson (Hands on a Hardbody, Hair) as Anthony Hope, Erin Mackey (Chaplin, Anything Goes) as Johanna and Kyle Brenn (West Side Story) as Tobias Ragg.
Sweeney Todd is conducted by music director Alan Gilbert. Sweeney Todd has orchestrations by Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick. Choreography is by Josh Rhodes.
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.
All tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office.
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