Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd is back on Broadway, as are Jonathan Tunick's epic 26-piece orchestrations for the first time since the 1979 original production, under the baton of Alex Lacamoire.
With Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford leading the cast as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, respectively, the new production began previews at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre February 26 with Hamilton Tony winner Thomas Kail at the helm.
Get a first listen to that glorious, full orchestra in this clip from the production's sitzprobe (the first sing-through rehearsal with the full orchestra).
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Based on the Christopher Bond play of the same name, Sweeney Todd centers on its titular barber who seeks revenge on a corrupt judge and turns to murder, with neighbor and accomplice Mrs. Lovett ultimately discovering they can dispose of the evidence by serving up the most unsettling meat pies to the people of London.
The original production, which debuted on Broadway in 1979, won eight 1980 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, along with Best Actor and Actress nods for original stars Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. The work has gone on to be regarded by many as one of Sondheim's masterpieces, with its epic, operatic scale letting it be equally at home on the musical theatre stage as it is at the opera house. The musical was revived on Broadway in 1989 and 2005, and Off-Broadway in 2017, all presenting the work on a smaller scale with dramatically smaller orchestrations. A film adaptation, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, was released in 2007.
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Groban and Ashford share the stage with Jordan Fisher (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen) as Anthony, Gaten Matarazzo (Stranger Things) as Tobias, Tony Award winner and Laurence Olivier Award nominee Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I) as Beggar Woman, Maria Bilbao (On Your Feet!) as Johanna, Jamie Jackson (The Last Ship) as Judge Turpin, John Rapson (Les Misérables) as Beadle Bamford, and Nicholas Christopher (Hamilton) as Pirelli.
The ensemble includes Galyana Castillo, Jonathan Christopher, Taeler Cyrus, Timothy Hughes, Paul-Jordan Jansen, Alicia Kaori, Raymond J. Lee, Patricia Phillips, Samantha Pollino, Lexi Rabadi, Nathan Salstone, Kristie Dale Sanders, Stephen Tewksbury, Daniel Torres, Felix Torrez-Ponce, and DeLaney Westfall.
See the company take their very first curtain call bow below:
Rounding out the company: standby Jeanna De Waal, along with swings Dwayne Cooper, Kyrie Courter, Michael Kuhn, Megan Ort, Mia Pinero, and Hennessy Winkler.
The production features choreography by Steven Hoggett, scenic design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, special effects design by Jeremy Chernick, and wig, hair, and make-up design by J. Jared Janas. Casting is by The Telsey Office, and Baseline Theatrical's Nick Lygo and James Hickney serve as general managers. Cody Renard Richard is production stage manager.