NY Philharmonic Sweeney Todd, With Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel, Will Be Broadcast on PBS in September
08 May 2014
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
The New York Philharmonic's recent 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 debut.
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, staged the concert presentation that ran March 5-8 at Avery Fisher Hall.
Price and Matt Cowart are the producers.
The cast also featured 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 was conducted by music director Alan Gilbert with orchestrations by Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick and choreography 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.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.