Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical with a book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical is based on the 19th century legend of Sweeney Todd and is similar to the 1973 play The String of Pearls, by Christopher Bond.[1] A movie based off the play was made in 2007, starring Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd.

Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre on March 1, 1979. It was directed by Harold Prince with musical staging by Larry Fuller, and starred Len Cariou as Sweeney Todd and Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett. The musical played 557 times.[2] It won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Principal roles[change | change source]

Character Voice[source?] Description
Sweeney Todd bass-baritone A barber who has just arrived back in London after 15 years in a penal colony.
Mrs. Nellie Lovett contralto A shopkeeper who sells 'the worst pies in London'. She falls in love with Sweeney Todd.
Anthony Hope tenor A young man who makes friends with Todd.
Johanna soprano A beautiful girl, Todd's daughter.
Tobias Ragg tenor A servant boy. He works first for Pirelli, then for Mrs. Lovett, but never trusts Todd.
Judge Turpin bass An evil judge, who uses his power just to get what he wants.
Beadle Bamford tenor or countertenor Turpin's helper in his crimes.
Beggar Woman mezzo-soprano A mad old woman.
Adolfo Pirelli tenor An Italian barber.

Musical numbers[change | change source]

Story[change | change source]

The story is about Sweeney Todd, who was first named Benjamin Barker. Todd comes back from the prison camps in Australia, where he was sent for fifteen years on false charges by a judge named Turpin. He then learns from a lonely pie-maker known as Mrs. Lovett that his wife poisoned herself after being raped by Judge Turpin. He also finds out that the Judge is keeping his daughter. Todd decides to take revenge. Sweeney and Mrs Lovett become partners in a plan that ends in murder, and increasing business for Lovett's pie shop,

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

Original Broadway production

  • Tony Award for Best Musical (Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Original Score (Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Leonard Cariou, Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical ( Angela Lansbury, Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Scenic Design (Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Costume Design (Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Lighting Design (Nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award
  • Outstanding Musical (Winner)
  • Outstanding Book (Winner)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Leonard Cariou, Winner)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Angela Lansbury, Winner)
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Ken Jennings, winner)
  • Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Merle Louise, winner)
  • Outstanding Choreography (Nominee)
  • Outstanding Director of a Musical (Winner)
  • Outstanding Lyrics (Winner)
  • Outstanding Music (Winner)
  • Outstanding Costume Design (Nominee)
  • Outstanding Lighting Design (Nominee)
  • Outstanding Set Design (Nominee)

1989 Broadway revival

  • Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical ( Bob Gunton, Nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Beth Fowler, Nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Revival (Nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award
  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Bob Gunton, Nominee)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Beth Fowler, Nominee)
  • Outstanding Lighting Design (Nominee)
  • Outstanding Set Design (Nominee)
  • Outstanding Revival (Nominee)

2005 Broadway revival

  • Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (Nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Patti LuPone, Nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Michael Cerveris, Nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Manoel Felciano, Nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Orchestrations (Jonathan Tunick, Winner)
  • Drama Desk Award
  • Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Winner)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Michael Cerveris, Nominee)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Patti LuPone, Nominee)
  • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Alexander Gemignani, Nominee)
  • Outstanding Director of a Musical (Winner)
  • Outstanding Orchestrations (Jonathan Tunick, Winner)
  • Outstanding Set Design of a Musical (Nominee)
  • Outstanding Lighting Design (Winner)
  • Outstanding Sound Design (Nominee)

2007 Film

  • Golden Globe for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) (Winner)
  • Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy (Johnny Depp, Winner)
  • Academy Award for Best Achievement in Art Direction (Nominee)
  • Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Johnny Depp, nominee)
  • Academy Award for Best Achievement in Costume Design (Nominee)

References[change | change source]

  1. "Sweeney Todd". Sondheim.com. Retrieved on January 18, 2008.
  2. "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street". IBDB.com. Retrieved on January 17, 2008.

Other websites[change | change source]

Awards
Preceded by
Ain't Misbehavin'
Tony Award for Best Musical
1979
Succeeded by
Evita
Preceded by
On the Twentieth Century
by Cy Coleman
Tony Award for Best Original Score
1979
by Stephen Sondheim
Succeeded by
Evita
by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
Preceded by
On the Twentieth Century
by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
1979
by Hugh Wheeler
Succeeded by
Evita
by Tim Rice