Sweeney Todd Tickets
The human lust for vengeance has claimed countless victims over the millennia. Bloody wars have been waged in which entire cities have been laid to waste, such as the Battle of Troy. This battle took place in historical times when the city of Troy was decimated by the armies of Sparta to avenge the abduction of King Menelaus’s wife Helen by Prince Paris. Others include the ongoing weaponized mass destruction following the events of September 11th, 2001 being a more recent “war of vengeance”. On a more personal level, the famed literary accounts of “Jack the Ripper” and Sweeney Todd depict the grisly murders committed by individuals of the people that had wronged them. The latter character first became prominent as the antagonist in the Victorian era penny dreadful, The String of Pearls and then was brought into gory staged light in the 1979 musical Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
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The musical opens its first act with a seemingly necromantic Sweeney Todd delving into the sordid tale of his life. In 1846, an exiled Sweeney is returning to London on a ship along with his rescuer Anthony Hope, relating the story of "The Barber and His Wife" and once on land, heads to Mrs. Nellie Lovett’s shop that sells the "Worst Pies in London". Recognizing Sweeney as the barber Benjamin Barker that once resided above, she recounts the treatment meted out to his wife and daughter Johanna by the wanton Judge Turpin and his despicable sidekick Beadle Bamford. Anthony has his own taste of the gruesome twosome’s vileness when he attempts to woo "Johanna" whilst Todd wins a shaving competition against an elixir peddling Adolfo Pirelli. Sweeney is later visited by Pirelli who is strangled and slashed to death by the "Demon Barber" after the latter is recognized by his former assistant. Todd is cut short in his first bid to slit Judge Tarpin’s neck by a barging Anthony revealing his plans of eloping with Johanna.
Act II depicts a thriving pie shop being fueled by Todd’s victims, who after being slashed and dropped into the shop’s basement via a specially designed mechanized chair, are further sliced and diced and packed into pies by a beaming Mrs. Lovett who daydreams about marital bliss with her partner in crime. A forlorn Anthony discovers and rescues Johanna from a mental asylum whilst Mrs. Lovett locks a suspecting Tobias in the meat packing basement, who tries to escape after a bloodied Beadle drops down the chute, and then hides as Todd and the baker come a looking. With a disguised Johanna hiding in the trunk, Todd summarily slits and dips both the beggar Woman and Judge Turpin, discovers Johanna but rushes to the basement only to find out the silenced Beggar Woman to be his wife Lucy. Exacting revenge upon Mrs. Lovett for having concealed the truth by shutting her up in the fiery oven, a dejected Todd is slain by a shell-shocked Tobias, with musical concluding with the ghostly posse exiting on "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd."
Based on the Christopher Bond’s 1973 play of the same name, the musical Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street was composed and lyrically developed by Stephen Sondheim, with a libretto by Hugh Wheeler. After an initial Broadway run of 557 performances following its 1979 premier and a US national tour and a West End debut shortly after, the musical underwent a string of revivals, with a Broadway one in 1989 and 2005 and two London ones as well as a Los Angeles one in between.
The 1979 production clamped down on 9 Drama Desk Awards and 8 Tony Awards, including the top ones in both such as "Outstanding/Best Musical" as well as ones for the performances of both leads. All subsequent productions and revivals of Sweeney Todd clinched awards in ceremonies such as Laurence Olivier, AIMS, Ovation and Franklin Levy, with the 2005 Broadway one whisking off 4 Drama Desk and 2 Tony Awards.
With a concert version featuring a start studded cast, such as the likes of Kelsey Grammer and Neil Patrick Harris as well as a critically acclaimed film adaption positing a hair-raising Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter as the diabolical duo of Todd and Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd has penetrated into the theatrical and cinematic milieu in its full gory glory. So for a tęte-ŕ-tęte with your inner demon and a date with your imperceptible cannibal, get your Sweeney Todd tickets now. And watch out for those blistering blades!