London's Immersive SWEENEY TODD Starts Cooking Off-Broadway Tonight
The Tooting Arts Club production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond, directed by Bill Buckhurst, begins performances tonight, February 14, 2017 and officially opens on March 1, 2017 at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street). Tickets are now on sale through August 13, 2017.
Reprising their critically acclaimed performances from the original London Tooting production are British stage stars Jeremy Secomb (as Sweeney Todd), Olivier Award nominee Siobhán McCarthy (as Mrs. Lovett), Duncan Smith (as Judge Turpin) and Joseph Taylor (as Tobias). They are joined by Matt Doyle (as Anthony), Alex Finke (as Johanna), Betsy Morgan (as Pirelli & Beggar Woman) and Tony Award nominee Brad Oscar (as The Beadle). Secomb, McCarthy, Smith and Taylor will stay with the production for eight weeks only through April 9, 2017.
Beginning April 11, 2017, Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis (as Sweeney Todd), Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello (as Mrs. Lovett), Jamie Jackson (as Judge Turpin) and John-Michael Lyles (as Tobias) join the cast.
Sweeney Todd features set and costume designs by Simon Kenny, music supervision and arrangements by Benjamin Cox, music direction by Matt Aument, choreography by Georgina Lamb, lighting design by Amy Mae, sound design by Matt Stine, casting by Telsey + Company / Cesar A. Rocha, CSA and production stage management by Richard A. Hodge.
This production of the classic tale of blood thirsty barber Sweeney Todd and resourceful pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett immerses audiences in a completely new theatrical experience. This Sweeney Todd comes to New York City following sold-out runs in London where the show debuted in Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop, the oldest continuously operating pie shop in the city, before transferring (by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh) to a West End venue on Shaftesbury Avenue. The working pie-shop environment will be re-created at the Barrow Street Theatre.
Based on a Victorian horror story, Sweeney Todd is often considered Sondheim's greatest masterpiece. It first premiered on Broadway in 1979 at the Uris Theatre (now the Gershwin) and went on to make its West End debut in 1980. The original Broadway production won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. The 2007 Tim Burton film adaptation earned one Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.
As previously announced, former White House Executive Pastry Chef William "Bill" Yosses (dubbed "the Crust Master" by President Barack Obama) will serve as the production's official pie maker throughout the New York run. In keeping with the original Tooting production and the West End transfer, "pie and mash" will be available for purchase by all audience members prior to every performance, served communally in the pie shop where the production is set. Bill Yosses will recreate the "pie and mash" experience for Barrow Street audiences. An authentic slice of Victorian London, the traditional dish consists of a meat pie, a generous helping of mashed potato and hot parsley sauce - otherwise known as "liquor" - which is an optional extra. Both meat and veg pie options will be available.
Tooting Arts Club was established in 2011 with the aim to stage high quality professional productions in an area that lacks a permanent home for theatre. The company takes inspiration from the area, using local buildings to stage performances that draw audiences from across London, including critically acclaimed productions of Invasion! by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Lucy Kirkwood's Tinderbox, Barrie Keeffe's Barbarians (Tooting and West End) and an outdoor A Midsummer Night's Dream. This third encounter of Sweeney Todd will be Tooting Arts Club's eighth production - and their first in New York City.
Cast Schedule for February 14 to April 9, 2017: Jeremy Secomb as Sweeney Todd, Siobhán McCarthy as Mrs. Lovett, Matt Doyle as Anthony, Alex Finke as Johanna, Betsy Morgan as Pirelli & Beggar Woman, Duncan Smith as Judge Turpin, Joseph Taylor as Tobias, and Brad Oscar as The Beadle
Cast Schedule from April 11 to August 13, 2017: Norm Lewis as Sweeney Todd, Carolee Carmello as Mrs. Lovett, Matt Doyle as Anthony, Alex Finke as Johanna, Jamie Jackson as Judge Turpin, John-Michael Lyles as Tobias, Betsy Morgan as Pirelli & Beggar Woman, and Brad Oscar as The Beadle
Tickets can be purchased online at www.SweeneyToddNYC.com, at the Barrow Street Theatre box office located at 27 Barrow Street @ 7th Avenue South (open 7 days per week starting at 1pm), or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111. Tickets for performances tonight, February 14, to February 28 range in price from $69.50 to $99.50. Tickets for performances from March 1 to August 13 range in price from $69.50 to $125. Information regarding a lottery and a student rush policy will be announced at a later date.
When purchasing tickets, patrons can select an option to add the pie and mash meal to their order for an additional $20. The meal also includes a beer, glass of wine, or non-alcoholic beverage to be enjoyed in the pie-shop one (1) hour prior to each performance. Please note that this option can only be purchased in advance with tickets.
Photo Credit: Bronwen Sharp