Signature Theatre's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street officially opened May 23 following previews that began May 16 at the Washington, D.C.-area theatre. Nathaniel Stampley and Bryonha Marie star as Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett, respectively.
Joining the two in the cast are Paul Scanlan as Anthony Hope, Rayanne Gonzales as Beggar Woman, John Leslie Wolfe as Judge Turpin, Christopher Michael Richardson as The Beadle, Katie Mariko Murray as Johanna, Harrison Smith as Tobias Ragg, and Ian McEuen as Pirelli. The ensemble includes Benjamin Lurye, Jimmy Mavrikes, Bob McDonald, Adelina Mitchell, Crystal Mosser, Lawrence Redmond, Katherine Riddle, Sarah Anne Sillers, and Chani Wereley. Rounding out the company as swings are Julia Wheeler Lennon, Rebecca Madeira, Dylan Toms, and Hank von Kolnitz.
Check out new production photos from the musical, which continues through July 9, below.
Sarna Lapine is at the helm for the new production, leading a creative team also including choreographer Alison Solomon, music director Jon Kalbfleisch, scenic designer Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, costume designer Robert Perdziola, lighting designer Jesse Belsky, sound designer Eric Norris, wig designer Anne Nesmith, and fight choreographer Casey Kaleba. Kerry Epstein is production stage manager, with Joey Blakeley as assistant stage manager. Casting is by Jorge Acevedo.
“In 1991, Signature produced its first Sondheim musical, his masterpiece Sweeney Todd," said Signature Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner in an earlier statement. "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,” added director 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."
Signature's production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical takes the stage as another revival, directed by Thomas Kail, continues its now-Tony-nominated run on Broadway, starring Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford.
The original production of Sweeney Todd, which debuted on Broadway in 1979, won eight 1980 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, along with Best Actor and Actress nods for original stars Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. The work has gone on to be regarded by many as one of Sondheim's masterpieces, with its epic, operatic scale letting it be equally at home on the musical theatre stage as it is at the opera house. The musical was revived on Broadway in 1989 and 2005, and Off-Broadway in 2017, all presenting the work on a smaller scale with dramatically smaller orchestrations. A film adaptation, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, was released in 2007.
The production is licensed by Music Theatre International.