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Emma Thompson to Play 'Mrs. Lovett' in New York Philharmonic's SWEENEY TOOD; Runs 3/5-8

Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson will portray Mrs. Lovett in the New York Philharmonic's staged production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, March 5-8, 2014. The production will mark MS. Thompson's New York Philharmonic debut, New York stage debut, and first time performing the role. As previously announced, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will star as the title character, Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct, Lonny Price will direct, and Lonny Price and Matt Cowart are the producers. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

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. MS. Thompson will sing "The Worst Pies in London," "Not While I'm Around," and "A Little Priest." Other highlights in the score include "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" 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.

On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, the New York Philharmonic will hold its Spring Gala. The Gala is presented by BNY Mellon. For information about the Gala, which includes a pre-concert reception, concert, and post-concert seated dinner with the artists, please contact Jennifer Levine, levinej@nyphil.org, or call her at (212) 875-5757.

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