McCarthy, Harris, Dixon et al. Set For SWEENEY TODD At Barrington Stage 6/17-7/17


Celebrating Stephen Sondheim's 80th Birthday this year, Barrington Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Producing Director Richard M. Parison, Jr., presents the musical thriller, SWEENEY TODD: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Directed by Julianne Boyd, with musical direction by Darren Cohen, Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece begins previews on June 17; opens June 23 at 7:00pm; and runs through July 17.

With a book by Hugh Wheeler, based on an adaptation by Christopher Bond, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is a chilling comedy of passion, revenge, and meat pies set to brilliant music of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. On a mission of ruthless retribution barber Sweeney Todd schemes with lovesick shopkeeper Mrs. Lovett to avenge his family in the most demented fashion.

The cast of Sweeney Todd will be headed by Broadway veteran Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown, BSC's Follies and Mack and Mabel) as Sweeney Todd and Tony winner Harriet Harris (Thoroughly Modern Millie, TV's Desperate Housewives and Frasier; Roundabout's Present Laughter) as Mrs. Lovett, with Ed Dixon (Roundabout's Sunday in the Park With George, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Les Misérables) as Judge Turpin, Timothy Shew (Wonderful Town, Les Misérables) as Beadle Bamford, Branch Woodman (Roundabout's Bye, Bye, Birdie) as Pirelli, Christianne Tisdale (Beauty and the Beast, BSC's South Pacific) as the Beggar Woman, Shonn Wiley (Mud Donahue and Son, 42nd Street) as Anthony, Sarah Stevens as Johanna (Diplomacy) and Zachary Clause (NYMF 2009 Hurricane) as Tobias.

Members of the Ensemble include: Traci Bair, Paul Betz, Analisa Leaming, John Rapson, Jaime Rosenstein, Amanda Salvatore, Billy Shaw and Allan Snyder.

A 9-piece orchestra under the musical direction of Darren Cohen will accompany the 17-member company. The Barrington Stage production restores Judge Turpin's song "Johanna." The creative team includes Wilson Chin (scenic design), Jen Moeller (costume design), Phillip S. Rosenberg (lighting design), Ed Chapman (sound design) and Renee Lutz (stage manager).

Barrington Stage has presented the following works of Sondheim: A Little Night Music in 1997, Company in 2000, Follies in 2005, and West Side Story in 2007.

Hugh Wheeler (Book) won Tony Awards for Candide, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd. He is the author of the plays Big Fish, Little Fish; Look, We've Come Through; We Have Always Lived in the Castle; and additional material for Pacific Overtures. His screenplays include Travels With My Aunt, Something for Everyone, A Little Night Music and Nijinsky. He also wrote 30 mysteries under the pseudonyms Patrick Quentin and Q. Patrick. He wrote for such operas as Kurt Weill's Silverlake, Mozart's Impressario and the opera versions of Candide and Sweeney Todd.

Stephen Sondheim (Music and Lyrics) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Assassins, Passion and Road Show as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy and Do I Hear a Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide. Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow, Putting It Together, and Sondheim on Sondheim. For films and television, he composed the scores of Stavisky and Reds and wrote songs for Dick Tracy and "Evening Primrose." He co-authored the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away With Murder. He received the 2008 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement and, in March of 2010, the Henry Miller Theatre was re-named the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in his honor.

The original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd opened March 1, 1979 at the Uris (Gershwin) Theatre. Produced and directed by Harold Prince, the production starred Len Cariou, Angela Lansbury, Victor Garber, Edmund Lyndeck, Sarah Rice, and Ken Jennings. Winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, the production ran 558 performances. Tim Burton directed the 2007 movie version which starred Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, and Sacha Baron Cohen. Sweeney has since entered the repertory at NY City Opera (with productions in 1984 and 2004), presented in concert by the NY Philharmonic in 2000, and revived twice on Broadway in 1989 at Circle in the Square with Bob Gunton and Beth Fowler, and in 2005 with Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone.

Performances of Sweeney Todd from June 17 through July 17 are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm, Thursday through Saturday at 8pm, Friday matinees at 2pm, and Sunday at 5pm at BSC Mainstage, 30 Union St., Pittsfield. Additional matinee performance on Wed., June 30 at 2pm. Opening Night: Wed., June 23 at 8pm. Tickets: $15-$58. Seniors: $35 all matinees. Pay What You Can Night for 35 year olds and younger: Wed., June 30 at 7pm. Barrington Stage is fully-accessible, including wheelchair accessibility and assisted listening devices at every performance. Accessible seating is available by reservation. For ticket information, call 413-236-8888, stop by the BSC Box Office at 30 Union Street , or visit

About Barrington Stage Company
Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield , MA , was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. Barrington Stage's mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre-especially young people. Barrington Stage garnered national attention with William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's Tony Award-winning musical hit "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," which began as a workshop at Barrington Stage in February 2004, was produced in its world premiere to critical acclaim that summer, and later transferred to Broadway's Circle-in-the-Square Theatre where it played more than 1,000 performances. For more information, log on to


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