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Details of Sweeney Todd and the Ticket Luck value
SWEENEY TODD, THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET is a musical with a book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre on March 1, 1979. The musical played for 576 performances. The story centers on the character of Sweeney Todd, formerly known as Benjamin Barker, who returns from the severe colonies in Australia, where he has spent fifteen years on false charges. When he learns from Mrs. Lovett, whose meat pies are the worst in London, that his wife poisoned herself after being raped by Judge Turpin, and his daughter is imprisoned by Judge Turpin, he vows revenge. The two become conspirators in a dark plot that results in mass murder.
Anthony Hope and Sweeney Todd arrive in London with opposite feelings about their return to the city. Hope is happy to be back in the city, while Todd is grim and uneasy. They are accosted by a crazy Beggar Woman who thinks that she recognizes Todd, but Todd chases her away. Hope offers to help Todd get on his feet with some financial assistance, but Todd declines and, trance-like, tells a tragic story. There was once a barber who had a beautiful wife, but she was coveted by a rich judge who exiled the barber so that he could have the barber's wife. Todd leaves Hope, indicating that he will be staying near Fleet Street.
Business is booming in the pie shop, and Mrs. Lovett is finally experiencing some prosperity. There are customers lined up around the corner to savor her meat pies. Todd and Mrs. Lovett have devised a new system for the meat delivery; when Todd kills someone, he sends the body parts down a tube to the bake house.Todd thinks upon the loss of his daughter, ultimately becoming more and more deadened to it as he loses himself in his bloody vengeance on all of London. Meanwhile, the Beggar Woman is suspicious of the pie shop. Hope searches for Johanna and discovers that Judge Turpin has locked her away in an insane asylum. He attempts to rescue her but fails.
Mrs. Lovett daydreams about married life with Todd. Hope bursts in, telling of Johanna's imprisonment. Todd sends Hope back to the asylum disguised as a wigmaker. Todd gives him a gun and instructs him to bring Johanna back to the shop. Tobias is becoming suspicious of Todd, but Mrs. Lovett calms him down by sending him downstairs to grind some meat. The Beadle shows up to respond to some complaints of a foul smell coming from the shop. Todd takes the Beadle upstairs for a free shave before he inspects the ovens. Tobias is still in the basement grinding and begins to suspect that the meat is human, just as the Beadle comes down the chute. He tries to escape but realizes that he is locked in.
Original Broadway production
After nineteen previews, the Broadway production, directed by Hal Prince and choreographed by Larry Fuller, opened on March 1, 1979 at the Uris Theatre. Despite initial poor audience reaction -- on opening night, half the audience is said to have left in disgust at intermission -- the show ran for 557 performances, closing on June 29, 1980. The cast included Angela Lansbury, Len Cariou, Victor Garber, Sarah Rice, Merle Louise, Ken Jennings, Edmund Lyndeck and Craig Lucas. Original West End production
The musical opened in London's West End on July 2, 1980 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, starring Denis Quilley and Sheila Hancock and ran for 157 performances.
Sondheim's score is one of his most complex to date. Sondheim also quotes the ancient Dies Irae Gregorian chant and in the accompaniment to Epiphany. He also relies heavily on leitmotif.
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