Nathaniel Stampley & Bryonha Marie to Lead SWEENEY TODD at Signature Theatre

Performances run May 16 – July 9, 2023 in Signature’s MAX Theatre.

By: Apr. 18, 2023
Nathaniel Stampley & Bryonha Marie to Lead SWEENEY TODD at Signature Theatre
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Signature Theatre has announced the cast and creative team for the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, with music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. The production will feature direction by Sarna Lapine (Broadway's Sunday in the Park with George) and will be the final of three Sondheim productions featured in Signature's 2022/23 season. Performances run May 16 - July 9, 2023 in Signature's MAX Theatre. Tickets are available at SigTheatre.org.

"Our final production of the 2022/23 season takes us back to the very beginning of Signature's relationship with Stephen Sondheim," said Signature Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner. "In 1991, Signature produced its first Sondheim musical, his masterpiece Sweeney Todd. That original production marked the start of our ongoing relationship with the composer whose work would become a staple at Signature. As we culminate So Many Possibilities: A Season of Sondheim, I look forward to seeing Sarna Lapine, a proven expert at interpreting Sondheim's work, put her unique mark on this Sondheim classic as we 'attend the tale' as only Signature knows how."

"Sweeney Todd is a story told on the scale of Greek tragedy. Its emotions, action, music, and call to be witnessed exist at an epic scale," said Director Sarna Lapine. "Accordingly, the ensemble in Sweeney Todd functions like a Greek chorus. And in Signature's wonderfully intimate space, the audience itself becomes an extension of this chorus, bearing witness to the horrors caused by corruption, social inequity, and injustice. In the world of Sweeney Todd, the absence of justice drives society to a state of chaos and despair where moral and psychological anguish leads to violence. What happens to the mind of a common person when they are subjected to a level of cruelty that reaches the absurd? What happens when nefarious forces grind down a common person, a baker, or a barber, to the point that they must reconstitute as an avenging angel or...demon? Even as we witness these dramatic atrocities, we experience catharsis and, ultimately, joy. Because we also experience the exquisite invention and beauty of humankind through Sondheim's music."

Returned to London following a wrongful banishment, barber Sweeney Todd's thirst for vengeance against the corrupt judge who sent him away leads him on a murderous spree. Aided by his downstairs neighbor, baker Mrs. Lovett, the two concoct an unappetizing scheme as they terrorize the city. This deliciously dark musical serves horror with a slice of humor. Sarna Lapine (Broadway's Sunday in the Park with George, Boston Lyric Opera's The Rape of Lucretia) directs, Jon Kalbfleisch (Signature's Into the Woods, Assassins) music directs, and Alison Solomon (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pasadena Playhouse's Sunday in the Park with George) choreographs.

Sweeney Todd will star Nathaniel Stampley (Broadway's The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, The Color Purple) as Sweeney Todd and Bryonha Marie (Broadway's The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Ragtime) as Mrs. Lovett. The cast includes Rayanne Gonzales (Signature's Daphne's Dive, Passion) as the Beggar Woman, Ian McEuen (Signature's Assassins, Passion) as Adolpho Pirelli, Katie Mariko Murray (Signature's Into the Woods, RENT) as Johanna, Christopher Michael Richardson (Signature's Gun & Powder, Woolly Mammoth's A Strange Loop) as the Beadle Bamford, Paul Scanlan (Signature's Into the Woods, National Tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) as Anthony, Harrison Smith (Signature's Billy Elliot, Keegan Theatre's Elegies) as Tobias, and John Leslie Wolfe (Broadway's Parade, Signature's Parade) as Judge Turpin. The ensemble of Sweeney Todd is rounded out by Benjamin Lurye (Signature's A Little Night Music, Diner), Jimmy Mavrikes (Signature's RENT, Girlfriend), Bob McDonald (Signature's Blackbeard, Kennedy Center's Sunday in the Park with George), Adelina Mitchell (Signature's Into the Woods, Olney Theatre Center's The Music Man), Crystal Mosser (Signature's Gun & Powder, Billy Elliot), Lawrence Redmond (Signature's Into the Woods, She Loves Me), Katherine Riddle (Signature's She Loves Me, Shakespeare Theatre Company's The Secret Garden), Sarah Anne Sillers (Signature's She Loves Me, RENT), and Chani Wereley (Signature's Pacific Overtures, Into the Woods). Julia Wheeler Lennon (Signature's Into the Woods), Rebecca Madeira (CreArtBox's Architecture of a Common Man), Dylan Toms (Signature's Into the Woods) and Hank von Kolnitz (National Tour of A Christmas Story) are swings.

The creative team for Sweeney Todd includes Scenic Design by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams (Bay Street Theatre's Annie Get Your Gun, Guthrie's The Glass Menagerie), Costume Design by Robert Perdziola (Signature's Passion, A Little Night Music), Lighting Design by Jesse Belsky (Signature's Which Way to the Stage, Studio Theatre's John Proctor is the Villain), Sound Design by Eric Norris (Signature's Pacific Overtures, Into the Woods), and Wig Design by Anne Nesmith (Signature's Passion, A Little Night Music). Casey Kaleba is the Fight Choreographer, Zach Campion is the Dialect Coach, and Chelsea Pace is the Resident Intimacy Consultant. Casting is by Jorge Acevedo. Kerry Epstein is the Production Stage Manager, Joey Blakely is the Assistant Stage Manager, Genevieve Dornemann is the Production Assistant, Kellie Beck is the Associate Director, Nikki Mirza is the Assistant Director, Zak Sandler is the Associate Music Director, Allison Walsh is the Associate Choreographer, Caitlin Rain is the Assistant Costume Designer, Heather Reynolds is the Assistant Lighting Designer, Ali Pohanka is the Assistant Wig Designer, and Alexander Greenberg is the Keyboard Programmer.

ABOUT SIGNATURE

Signature Theatre is a Tony Award®-winning regional theater that broadens and brightens the region's cultural landscape with its bold productions of challenging new and established works and engaging education and outreach programs. Founded in 1989 by Eric Schaeffer and Donna Migliaccio, and currently under the leadership of Managing Director Maggie Boland and Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner, musical theater is Signature's "signature," and the Theatre is renowned for its definitive Sondheim productions, inventive adaptations of overlooked or forgotten works, and investment in fresh new projects. Signature combines Broadway-caliber productions with intimate playing spaces and aims to be a leading force in U.S. musical theater.

Since its inception, the Theatre has produced 60 world premiere works-including 19 new musical commissions. Signature opens its doors to more than 100,000 people annually from the Washington, DC region and beyond and reaches more than 10,000 students every year through its innovative education programs, including the award-winning initiative Signature in the Schools. Signature has won 134 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region's professional theater and has been honored with 482 nominations.




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