TRINITY REP ENDS SEASON WITH SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
Tony Award-winning musical plays May 25 – June 25
PROVIDENCE, RI: Trinity Repertory Company concludes its 2022-23 Season with the award-winning musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler. Directed by Curt Columbus, Sweeney Todd runs at Trinity Rep in the Dowling Theater from May 25 through June 25, 2023, with press opening night on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $27 and are available online at trinityrep.com/sweeney or by contacting the ticket office at (401) 351-4242.
ABOUT THE SHOW
An indisputable masterpiece by one of America’s greatest Broadway composers and lyricists, this is a heart-pounding thriller that delights and amazes. Filled with diabolical humor and extraordinary music, the eight-time Tony Award-winning musical tells the tale of an exiled barber’s quest to avenge the wrongs unfairly done to him and his family by a corrupt system of justice. Sweeney Todd is a beautiful, soaring, dark comedy filled with stunning terror that will leave you wanting more!
“Sweeney Todd is one of the most extraordinary works of musical theater ever written,” said director Curt Columbus. “Stephen Sondheim’s genius is on full display in the music and lyrics of this glorious score, and I am ecstatic about the great group of artists we have gathered at Trinity Rep to tell this tale. This classic American musical has a deep meditation on the nature of justice at its heart, and our telling will explore these themes in exciting new ways. I cannot wait to share this work with our audiences.”
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
Sweeney Todd‘s set was co-designed by Trinity Rep’s resident scenic designer Eugene Lee, who passed away in February this year, and his longtime collaborator Patrick Lynch. Lee won a Tony Award for designing the original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd, as well as Candide and Wicked. He was also the production designer for “Saturday Night Live” since its inception. Lee and Lynch finalized their concepts for Sweeney Todd before Lee’s passing; Lynch will oversee the execution.
Curt Columbus has been artistic director at Trinity Rep since 2006. His directing credits for Trinity Rep include Tiny Beautiful Things, Macbeth, Ragtime, Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, Middletown, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Merchant of Venice, His Girl Friday, Camelot, Cabaret, Blithe Spirit, A Christmas Carol, Cherry Orchard, and the world premieres of The Completely Fictional—Utterly True—Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allen Poe and Social Creatures.
The rest of the creative team includes assistant director Gia Yarn, music director Andrew Smithson, orchestrator Peter Leigh-Nilsen, choreographer Sharon Jenkins, fight choreographer Mark A. Rose, costume designer Shahrzad Mazaheri, lighting designer Dawn Chiang, and sound designer Peter Sasha Hurowitz.
The production’s cast features Erick Pinnick as Sweeney Todd, who previously appeared in Trinity Rep productions of Annie and Oliver! He is joined by resident company members Taavon Gamble (Anthony Hope), Stephen Thorne (Judge Turpin), and Rachael Warren (Mrs. Lovett); Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program students Myka Cue (Beggar Woman), Kai Thomani Tshikosi (Adolfo Pirelli), Rebecca-Anne Whittaker (Johanna), and Sophie Zmorrod (Beadle Bamford); and guest artists Alexander Crespo Rosario II (Tobias Ragg) and Kevin Patrick Martin (Jonas Fogg).
THE MUSICAL AND ITS CREATORS
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is based on the play of the same name by Christopher Bond, which in turn was based on the 1847 penny dreadful The String of Pearls. Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979 and in the West End in 1980, winning both the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best New Musical. It has been revived regionally, nationally, and internationally many times, most recently on Broadway with Josh Groban in the title role. A film adaptation directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp was released in 2007.
Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1962), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994), and Road Show (2008) as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Considered one of the greatest composers of the American Theater, Sondheim’s numerous accolades include eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame. In 2010, Broadway’s Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in his honour; in 2019, London’s Queens Theatre was also renamed the Sondheim.
Hugh Wheeler wrote the books for A Little Night Music (1973), Candide (1973), Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), and Meet Me in St. Louis (adapted from the 1949 MGM musical). He contributed additional material for the musical Pacific Overtures (1976), and wrote a new adaptation of the Kurt Weill opera Silverlake, He received Tony and Drama Desk Awards for A Little Night Music, Candide, and Sweeney Todd.
Continuing Trinity Rep’s tradition of offering affordable tickets for all, the theater will hold a Pay What You Will performance of Sweeney Todd on Thursday, May 25. Pay What You Will tickets go on sale at 2:00 pm the day of the performance and are limited to one ticket per person.
To accommodate patrons who feel most comfortable in a fully masked environment, all matinees will be Masked Matinees, requiring guests to wear masks. At evening performances, guests are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. For the most up-to-date information, visit trinityrep.com/health.
Other special performances for this production include Open Captioned performances on June 21, 24, and 25 at 2:00 pm and June 21, 22, 23, and 24 at 7:30 pm. The Sensory–Friendly performance of Sweeney Todd, designed to meet the needs of guests with sensitivities to light and sound, will be held on June 14, 2023. VIsit www.trinityrep.com/accessibility to learn more.
Through Trinity Rep’s Project Discovery program, schools can take their classrooms to see Sweeney Todd. Schools receive a study guide that can be used in the classroom, and participate in a post-show discussion with the production team. The Project Discovery performances of Sweeney Todd will be held on Friday, June 2 and Friday, June 9 at 10:00 am. Visit www.trinityrep.com/project-discovery for more information and to book your school.
Sweeney Todd is sponsored by Navigant Credit Union. The media sponsor for this production is GBH. Trinity Rep’s 2022-23 Season is sponsored in part by the Rhode Island State Council on The Arts (RISCA). 110 Grill is Trinity Rep’s Opening Night Sponsor, and Southwest Airlines is the Official Airline of Trinity Rep.