RISE & SHINE BROADWAY FANS! Can you believe we are only 21 days away from Broadway’s biggest night of the year, the 71st Annual Tony Awards. We have more exciting showstopping performances from the past 71 years in our TOP 30 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN.
At # 21, we take you to a dark and spooky part of London. One of it’s famous residents is a mad Barber out for a vengeance by having those who put him in hell have their bodies and heads turned into delicious meat pies. This is Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s legendary chilling and thriller musical Sweeney Todd NYC.
From the 2006 telecast, Tony winner Michael Ceveris in the title role, Tony winner (and Tony nominee again this season) Patti LuPone, and the cast of the most prior 2005 Broadway revival perform a medley of some the most thrilling songs ever written for the stage including THE BALLAD OF THE SWEENEY TODD, THE WORST PIES IN LONDON, and MY FRIENDS.
SWEENEY TODD premiered in 1979 at Broadway’s Uris Theatre (now the Gershwin Theatre) for 576 performances. The cast starred Tony winners Len Cariou (later George Hearn) in the title role and Dame Angela Lansbury (later the late Tony winning Dorothy Louden) as “Mrs. Lovett”. The original production was nominated for 9 Tony Awards that same year winning 8 including Best Musical. Following it’s original Broadway run’s success, the show began to haunt audiences around the world.
The musical was later revived twice on Broadway. The first revival happened in 1989 at Circle in the Square Theatre for 238 performances. The cast featured Bob Gunton in the title role and Beth Fowler as “Mrs. Lovett”. It was nominated for only 4 Tony Awards that year including Best Revival of a Musical but lost all the categories.
The most recent Broadway revival happened in 2005 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre for 384 performances (as seen in this video). The cast featured Tony winners Michael Ceveris and Patti LuPone. This production was based on a 2004 West End revival that was well known for an intimate staging with the orchestra pit being replaced by the cast serving as the orchestra playing the score live. That last revival was nominated for 6 Tonys Awards in 2006 winning 2 including Best Director (for John Doyle).
Currently, an all new production of SWEENEY TODD is playing Off Broadway. It opened this past February at the Barrow Street Theatre. It was based on a recent production that happened in London where they turned the entire Theatre into a working pie shop serving actual Meat Pies. The cast featured it’s leads from the World Premiere London production including Jerry Secomb in the title role and Siobh?n McCarthy as “Mrs. Lovett”. Both actors ended their limited run and were replaced currently by 2 of Broadway’s own, Tony nominees Norm Lewis in the title role and Carolee Carmello as “Mrs. Lovett”.
SWEENEY TODD has also been a big hit from being captured on film 4 times. In 1981, a performance of the original production’s 1st National Tour stop in Los Angeles was filmed and aired on PBS that very next year. It starred George Hearn and Angela Lansbury reprising their roles from Broadway. The 2nd time it was captured on film was in 2001 in San Francisco featuring a performance of a concert adaptation (that originally started out with the New York Philharmonic) starring George Hearn reprising the title role and Patti LuPone (prior to the 2005 revival) as Mrs. Lovett being accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony. It aired on PBS that very same year. In 2007, Warner Bros. Pictures released the acclaimed Tim Burton – Official Page film version that was a huge success and winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture. The film starred Johnny Depp in the title role and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. Most recently, a performance of the recent revamped New York Philharmonic concert production was filmed and aired on PBS. This version starred The Metropolitan Opera’s acclaimed Baritone star Sir Bryn Terfel in the title role and Emma Thompson as “Mrs. Lovett”.
Doesn’t this musical give you a great scare?!!
A video of John Doyle’s production of Sweeney Todd at the Tony Awards. Starring Michael Cerveris, Patti LuPone, and the rest of the cast of 10 actor/musician…
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