Produced on Broadway 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 is currently on sale through Dec. 31. The cast recording is available through Nonesuch Records.
It is rare for a Sondheim show to recoup its investment on Broadway. Among his few financially successful outings is the original mounting of A Little Night Music.
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 — her first Broadway musical role in 17 years.
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, 10 actor-musicians recreate 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.
Cerveris and LuPone are joined 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).
The songlist includes "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," "No Place Like London," "The Barber and His Wife," "The Worst Pies in London," "Poor Thing," "My Friends," "Green Finch and Linnet Bird," "Ah, Miss," "Johanna," "Pirelli's Miracle Elixir," "The Contest," "Wait," "Kiss Me," "Ladies in Their Sensitivities," "Quartet," "Pretty Women," "Epiphany," "A Little Priest," "God, That’s Good!," "Johanna," "By the Sea," "Not While I’m Around," "Parlor Songs," "City on Fire!," "Final Sequence" and "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd."