We Fly Tonight: Sweeney Todd Returns to Broadway Oct. 3 with Cerveris and LuPone

News   We Fly Tonight: Sweeney Todd Returns to Broadway Oct. 3 with Cerveris and LuPone
The factory whistle shrills on Broadway when the Londoners of Fleet Street return in a new revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Oct. 3.

Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris star in Sweeney Todd.
Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris star in Sweeney Todd. Photo by Nigel Parry

John Doyle, who staged the original London run, directs the musical which will open on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Nov. 3.

Sweeney Todd features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, drawing from the play by Christopher Bond (itself based on characters created by British journalist George Dibden-Pitt, who adapted his 1830s penny dreadful tale into a popular stage melodrama). The story follows a vengeful barber (Sweeney) in Victorian England and his neighbor (Lovett) who owns a pie shop that becomes popular due to a surplus of fresh meat.

This unique staging casts actor-musicians to retell the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and company. A cast of ten (with no ensemble) perform on various instruments ranging from flute, trumpet and clarinet to cello, accordion and bass in addition to their acting and singing duties.

Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris (Assassins) will star 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 — for the new Broadway revival.

Cerveris and LuPone will be joined in the ten-member ensemble 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 instrument assignment is as follows: The Beadle - keyboard/trumpet, Beggar Woman - clarinet, Anthony - cello/ keyboard, Johanna - cello/penny whistle, Jonas Fogg - bass, Tobias - violin/clarinet/keyboard, Pirelli - accordion/keyboard/flute, Judge Turpin - trumpet/orchestra bells/ percussion, Mrs. Lovett- tuba/orchestra bells/ percussion and Sweeney Todd - guitar/orchestra bells/percussion.

A Best Actress (Musical) Tony Award winner for her turn in Evita, LuPone was last seen in a musical on Broadway (ironically as Reno Sweeney) in the 1988 revival of Anything Goes — for which she was Tony-nominated. The actress has remained in the New York spotlight with appearances in the New York Philharmonic's Candide concert, the City Center Encores! run of Cole Porter's Can-Can, as well as non-musical turn for Broadway’s Noises Off, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class and her concerts Patti LuPone on Broadway and Matters of the Heart.

Cerveris won a Tony Award for his turn as Booth in the 2004 revival of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. The actor has appeared Off-Broadway in Wintertime and Fifth of July and also earned a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway debut as the title role in The Who's Tommy. Other stage credits include Passion, Titanic and the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh and Richard Frankel will present Sweeney Todd with the Ambassador Theatre Group (which co-produced the run with The Watermill Theatre at the West End's New Ambassador Theatre), Adam Kenwright & Tulchin/Bartner/Bagert Productions for the new Broadway staging.

Director Doyle provides his own scenic and costume design with a creative team that also features Richard G. Jones (lighting), Dan Moses Schreier (sound), Paul Huntley (hair and wig). David Loud serves as resident music supervisor, John Miller is music coordinator. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Sarah Travis.

Nonesuch — the company that has previously released Sondheim's Saturday Night, The Frogs/Evening Primrose, Into The Woods and Bounce — will put forth the new cast recording for the production. Details and dates are forthcoming.

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."

Tickets for Sweeney Todd at the Eugene O'Neill, 230 West 49 St. are on sale by calling (212) 239-6200 or via the link below. For more information, visit www.sweeneytoddonbroadway.com.

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