Sweeney Todd

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Eugene O'Neill Theatre, (11/03/2005 - 9/03/2006)

First Preview: Oct 03, 2005
Opening Date: Nov 03, 2005
Closing Date: Sep 03, 2006
Total Previews: 35
Total Performances: 349

Category: Musical, Thriller, Revival, Broadway
Setting: The 19th Century. London. Fleet Street and environs.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director)

Produced by Thomas Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Ambassador Theatre Group, Adam Kenwright and Tulchin/Bartner/Bagert

Originally Directed on Broadway by: Harold Prince; Originally produced on Broadway by: Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson and Martin Richards; Originally produced on Broadway in association with: Dean Manos and Judy Manos; This production was originally produced by: The Watermill Theatre, U.K.

Music by Stephen Sondheim; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by Hugh Wheeler; From an Adaptation by Christopher Bond; Music orchestrated by Sarah Travis

Directed and Designed by John Doyle

Costume Design by John Doyle; Scenic Design by John Doyle; Lighting Design by Richard G. Jones; Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Associate Set Designer, Broadway Production: Ted LeFevre; Associate Costume Designer, Broadway Production: Patrick Chevillot; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone; Associate Lighting Designer, Broadway Production: Paul Miller; Associate Sound Designer, Broadway Production: David Bullard

General Manager: Richard Frankel Productions and Jo Porter; Company Manager: Sammy Ledbetter; Associate Co. Mgr: Jason Pelusio

Production Stage Manager: Adam John Hunter; Production Manager: Showman Fabricators; Stage Manager: Julia P. Jones

Musical Supervisor: Sarah Travis; Resident Music Supervisor: David Loud; Musical Coordinator: John Miller

Casting: Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc.; Press Representative: Barlow-Hartman Public Relations; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Paul Kolnik and Nigel Perry

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Opening Night Cast

Michael Cerveris
Guitar, Orchestra Bells, Percussion
Sweeney Todd
Patti LuPone
Tuba, Orchestra Bells, Percussion
Mrs. Lovett
John Arbo
Jonas Fogg
Donna Lynne Champlin
Accordion, Keyboard, Flute
Diana DiMarzio
Beggar Woman
Manoel Felciano
Violin, Clarinet, Keyboard
Tobias Ragg
Alexander Gemignani
Keyboard, Trumpet
The Beadle
Mark Jacoby
Trumpet, Orchestra Bells, Percussion
Judge Turpin
Benjamin Magnuson
Cello, Keyboard
Anthony Hope
Lauren Molina
Cello, Penny Whistle

Standby: Benjamin Eakeley (Anthony Hope, The Beadle, Tobias Ragg), Merwin Foard (Judge Turpin, Sweeney Todd), Dorothy Stanley (Mrs. Lovett, Pirelli) and Elisa Winter (Beggar Woman, Johanna)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2006 Best Revival of a Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Thomas Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Ambassador Theatre Group, Adam Kenwright and Tulchin/Bartner/Bagert

 2006 Best Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Michael Cerveris

 2006 Best Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Patti LuPone

 2006 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Manoel Felciano

winner 2006 Best Direction of a Musical [winner] 

John Doyle

winner 2006 Best Orchestrations [winner] 

Sarah Travis

Drama Desk Award

winner 2006 Outstanding Revival of a Musical [winner] 

Produced by Thomas Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Ambassador Theatre Group, Adam Kenwright and Tulchin/Bartner/Bagert

 2006 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Michael Cerveris

 2006 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Patti LuPone

 2006 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Alexander Gemignani

winner 2006 Outstanding Director of a Musical [winner] 

John Doyle

winner 2006 Outstanding Orchestrations [winner] 

Sarah Travis

 2006 Outstanding Set Design of a Musical [nominee] 

John Doyle

winner 2006 Outstanding Lighting Design [winner] 

Richard G. Jones

 2006 Outstanding Sound Design [nominee] 

Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier


music by Stephen Sondheim; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

ACT 1 Sung By
The Ballad of Sweeney ToddCompany
No Place Like LondonAnthony Hope, Sweeney Todd and Beggar Woman
The Barber and His WifeSweeney Todd
The Worst Pies In LondonMrs. Lovett
Poor ThingMrs. Lovett
My FriendsSweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett
Green Finch and Linnet BirdJohanna
Ah, MissAnthony Hope and Beggar Woman
JohannaAnthony Hope
Pirelli's Miracle ElixirTobias Ragg, Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett and Company
The ContestPirelli
WaitMrs. Lovett
Kiss MeJohanna and Anthony Hope
Ladies in Their SensitivitiesThe Beadle
QuartetJohanna, Anthony Hope, The Beadle and Judge Turpin
Pretty Women Sweeney Todd and Judge Turpin
EpiphanySweeney Todd
A Little PriestSweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett
ACT 2 Sung By
God, That's Good!Tobias Ragg, Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd, Beggar Woman and Company
JohannaAnthony Hope, Sweeney Todd, Johanna and Beggar Woman
By the SeaMrs. Lovett
Not While I'm AroundTobias Ragg and Mrs. Lovett
Parlour SongsThe Beadle and Mrs. Lovett
City on FireJohanna, Anthony Hope and Company
Final SequenceAnthony Hope, Beggar Woman, Sweeney Todd, Judge Turpin, Mrs. Lovett, Johanna and Tobias Ragg
The Ballad of Sweeney ToddCompany


AP: "Sweeney Todd Is Genuinely Creepy"

He rises out of a coffin, a vampirelike creature hellbent on vengeance -and that is only the beginning of Broadway's latest, imaginative look at "Sweeney Todd," the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical theater classic.

The production, done last year in London to great acclaim, opened Thursday at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre with Michael Ceveris as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Patti LuPone as Mrs. Lovett, his more-than-willing accomplice in dispatching victims by means of very close shaves.

This is a singular "Sweeney," a delightfully idiosyncratic interpretation that, thankfully, is more a rethinking than a reproduction. Directed and designed by John Doyle, this compact adaptation of the show is done with only 10 actors (the original had more than two dozen) who also double as the show's musicians. it challenges memories of that 1979 production by inviting theatergoers to re-examine the show's book and score on entirely different terms.

Doyle's take on the show strips Wheeler's story to a directness that underlines the terror of the tale, set in 19th century London. It's genuinely creepy. Musically, Sondheim's songs are delivered in such artful simplicity that they sound remarkably fresh and clear, thanks to Sarah Travis' new, lean orchestrations.

And another level of enjoyment exists, too, watching the actors negotiate various instruments -with surprising success.

There have been small versions of "Sweeney Todd" before, particularly an appropriately nicknamed "Teeny Todd" directed on Broadway by Susan H. Schulman in 1989. Most recent revivals have, more or less, followed the general outlines of Harold Prince's masterful staging of the first production more than 25 years ago.

As Sweeney, Cerveris is younger than most of the others who have played the role. Yet what the actor lacks in weight and age, he makes up for in passion. There is a scary, cadaverous physicality to his performance, and he sings the part with ferocity.

Those expecting a star turn from LuPone, Broadway's original Evita, will be disappointed. She blends in seamlessly with the rest of the ensemble. To be sure, LuPone gets her laughs - and more - as the voracious, love-starved woman who bakes Todd's dispatched customers into pies. The actress, wearing what looks like a discombobulated Louise Brooks bob, also plays a mean tuba and gives the triangle a workout.

Those instruments are an important part of the action, and other members of the cast are accomplished musicians and singers. Particularly effective are Benjamin Magnuson and Lauren Molina, who portray the young lovers, Anthony and Johanna. Both play the cello and, surprisingly, they find humor in the desperate romance between the two characters.

Manoel Felciano stands out as the sweetly sung Tobias, Mrs. Lovett's troubled young assistant, and there are equally fine performances from Mark Jacoby as the evil, lascivious Judge Turpin; Donna Lynne Champlin, who plays Pirelli, Todd's barber competition; Alexander Gemignani as the doomed Beadle; Diana Mimarzio as the beggar woman; and John Arbo, a veteran bass player in the pit of many Broadway musicals, as the supervisor of an insane asylum.

There is no literal blood-spurting in Doyle's stylized approach to the violence. But he gets the same grisly effect with artfully poured buckets of blood and the victims wearing blood-splattered white coats as they continue to play instruments and sing as part of the chorus.

Re-imagining Sondheim is not an easy task, but when the transformation works, it's a chance to see the master in a whole different light. Director Peter Hinton did it last summer in a dark, brooding "Into the Woods" at Canada's Stratford Festival that made Grimm's fairy tales grimmer than usual.

Doyle's intimate, disturbing take on "Sweeney Todd" may condense Wheeler's book and slenderize the richness of Sondheim's melodies, but it doesn't diminish the musical's power. This deconstructed "Sweeney Todd" still retains its ability to shock and to soar.


Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Eugene O'Neill Theatre

(11/3/2005 - 9/3/2006)
Assistant Stage Mgr: David Redman Scott; Stage Manager: Newton Cole; Assistant Stage Mgr: Aja Kane, Jerome Vivona.


Judy Kaye
Tuba, Orchestra Bells, Percussion
Mrs. Lovett (Jun 20, 2006 - Jun 25, 2006)
Tuba, Orchestra Bells, PercussionMrs. Lovett (Aug 1, 2006 - Aug 13, 2006)

Standbys: David Hess Trumpet, Orchestra Bells, Percussion (Jonas Fogg, Judge Turpin, Sweeney Todd, The Beadle), Stephen McIntyre Bass (Jonas Fogg), Jessica Wright Flute, Clarinet, Violin (Beggar Woman, Pirelli).

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