Will Cyndi Lauper Make "The Worst Pies in London" for New Broadway Sweeney Todd?

News   Will Cyndi Lauper Make "The Worst Pies in London" for New Broadway Sweeney Todd?
Pop songstress Cyndi Lauper is in the running for the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd heading for Broadway this fall, Playbill.com has learned.

Cyndi Lauper at the nominations announcement for the 2004 Tony Awards
Cyndi Lauper at the nominations announcement for the 2004 Tony Awards Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Steven Baruch, Thomas Viertel, Marc Routh and Richard Frankel will co-present the work with Ambassadors Theatre Group (whom recently co-produced a run with The Watermill Theatre at the West End's New Ambassador Theatre). Adam Kenwright and Maidstone Productions are also attached to present.

A source confirmed to Playbill.com what New York dailies are reporting, that Lauper has auditioned for the stageshow's lead role of Mrs. Lovett. The role was originated on Broadway by Angela Lansbury in a Tony Award-winning turn. No official casting has been announced.

A recent casting notice reveals that the role would require an actress who "Ideally, plays trumpet, glockenspiel, cymbals or other instruments, but may not play an instrument." Lauper has performed on a number of instruments including guitar, dulcimer, zither, recorder, bass recorder, omnichord, banjo, ukelele, tin whistle, and drums among others.

Lauper is known for her 1980's hit debut album "She's So Unusual" which included the hits "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "She-Bop," "Time After Time" and "All Through the Night." She has appeared on film in "Vibes," "Off and Running," "Life With Mikey" and "The Opportunists." Lauper lent her voice to the recent Roundabout Theatre Company Sondheim and Manhattan Theater Club fundraising galas as well as helped announce last season's Tony Award nominations. She appeared in the 2001 summer run of David Henry Hwang's Largo at the New York Stage and Film and is at work on a musical theatre project, Find Me, with Rosie O'Donnell.

Director John Doyle — who staged the London run — will rejoin musical director arranger Sarah Travis for the work slated to begin previews stateside in September and open in October. The unique staging casts actor-musicians to retell the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and company. A cast of nine actors (with no ensemble) will be required to perform on instruments ranging from flute, glockenspiel, trumpet and clarinet to piano, cello, accordion and double bass.

The new staging of Sweeney Todd — which features music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler — uses the adaptation by Christopher Bond. The story follows a vengeful barber in Victorian England and his neighbor who owns a pie shop that has recently come into favor due to a surplus of meat pies.

The work made its Broadway debut Feb. 6, 1979 starring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury — both earned Tony Awards for their turns. Harold Prince directed the 1979 Tony Award winner for Best Musical. The work was also seen in Washington, D.C. as part of the Kennedy Center's Sondheim Celebration with stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski. Mitchell has gone on the record as wanting to play Todd on Broadway.

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