New York Philharmonic's SWEENEY TODD, with Emma Thompson & Bryn Terfel, to Get 'Live From Lincoln Center' Broadcast on PBS
The New York Philharmonic's staged production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be telecast nationally on Live From Lincoln Center, hosted by Audra McDonald, on PBS stations. The air date will be announced at a later time.
The production, March 5-8, 2014, will star bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in the title role and Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lovett in her Philharmonic debut, New York stage debut, and first time performing the role. Jeff Blumenkrantz will portray The Beadle; Tony Award winner Christian Borle, Pirelli (marking his Philharmonic debut); Kyle Brenn, Tobias Ragg (debut); Jay Armstrong Johnson, Anthony Hope (debut); Erin Mackey, Johanna (debut); and Olivier Award winner Philip Quast, Judge Turpin (debut and New York stage debut). Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct, Grant Sturiale is the assistant conductor, Lonny Price will direct, Lonny Price and Matt Cowart are the producers, and Josh Rhodes is the choreographer.
The New York Philharmonic has been an integral part of PBS's award-winning Live From Lincoln Center since the series' inaugural telecast in 1976. While continuing to present the Philharmonic's symphonic concerts, in recent seasons Live From Lincoln Center has broadcast many of the Philharmonic's theatrical productions, including Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel in 2013, nominated for three Emmy Awards, and Lerner and Loewe's Camelot in 2008.
Set in Victorian London, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street tells the story of the eponymous barber who seeks vengeance on what he sees as a merciless world by murdering his customers and, with the help of his landlady, the romantically inclined Mrs. Lovett, bakes their bodies into meat pies, which are fed to London's avid and unknowing populace. Sondheim's score pays homage to the music of Hollywood composer Bernard Hermann. Highlights include "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," "Not While I'm Around," "A Little Priest," and "Pretty Women."
With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd first opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre on March 1, 1979, directed by Harold Prince and starring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. The show received eight Tony Awards in 1979 - including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score - as well as 11 Drama Desk Awards and the Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical. It has entered the mainstream through several revivals, productions in opera houses, and the 2007 Tim Burton film adaptation starring Johnny Depp.