‘Sweeney Todd’ returns to Broadway
The horror musical by Stephen Sondheim recently had its third Broadway revival.
‘Sweeney Todd’, one of the biggest horror musicals, recently returned to Broadway for its third revival.
This particular production is special as it features a company of 25 actors and an orchestra of 26. As such, the musical will be performed as it was originally intended, which hasn’t happened since 1980.
The 2023 cast features Josh Groban as Sweeney Todd, Annaleigh Ashford as Mrs. Lovett, Jordan Fisher as Anthony Hope, Gaten Matarazzo as Tobias Ragg, Maria Bilbao as Johanna Baker, Jamie Jackson as Judge Turpin, John Rapson as Beadle Bamford, Ruthie Ann Miles as The Beggar Woman and Nicholas Christopher as Adolfo Pirelli.
The new production will also be directed by the Tony-winning director of ‘Hamilton’, Thomas Kail.
What is ‘Sweeney Todd’?
Taking place in the Victorian era, the story follows Sweeney Todd, an unsettling and mysterious man in exile who seeks vengeance on those who ruined his life. Todd teams up with Mrs. Lovett, an unhinged business owner to a failing pie shop, as the two take to some grisly methods to exact revenge.
‘Sweeney Todd’ is an epic thriller with lyrics and music by the late Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. The production made its Broadway debut in 1979, had its first Broadway revival in 1989 and a second Broadway revival in 2005.
In 2007, there was a film adaptation titled ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’. It was directed by Tim Burton, with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in the lead roles.
Who is Stephen Sondheim?
Stephen Sondheim is a legendary name in the music theater industry and is credited for reinventing musicals by having his shows tackle unexpected and complex themes and for composing incredibly intricate music.
In addition to ‘Sweeney Todd’ some of his musicals include ‘West Side Story’, ‘Into the Woods’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Company’ and more.
The Atlantic said: “He made the musical new. He brought a mathematician’s mind to the business of lyricism, confronting each song as a conundrum of marrying emotional clarity with melodic emphasis and the structural limitations of rhyme.
“But, crucially, he also made art for outsiders, which is why his most devoted fans tend to be artists.”
He was a huge influence to other musical theater legends like Jonathan Larson and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Sondheim passed away in November 2021 at the age of 91.
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