A Bloody Powerful “Sweeney Todd” Live from Lincoln Center on PBS-TV [Berkshire on Stage]

September 25th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
Jay Armstron Johnson emotes.

Jay Armstron Johnson emotes.

Preview and review by Larry Murray

A miscarriage of justice in London led the barber Benjamin Barker to spend years in an Australian penal colony doing hard labor for a crime he did not commit. When he returned he changed his name to Sweeney Todd, reopened his barber shop on Fleet Street, and looked for an opportunity to even the score with Judge Turpin who raped his wife and sent him away. In the meantime, he began to slash the throats of customers, sending their dead bodies down a chute where they became the filling for Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies. It was a happy business arrangement. Her veal pies were a hit.

A few years ago, we speculated as to whether Sweeney Todd actually existed. It has been one of our most popular articles. Now we look at how it works on tape, on television. For theater goers, PBS-TV (WMHT-TV) is the place to be at 9pm on Friday (September 26).

In the hands of composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd became an almost operatic story of murder and cannibalism, one which won him two Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Score. Who could possibly criticize it? Certainly not anyone who has seen it.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


LIVE: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” @ Barrington Stage Co., 6/23/10

June 25th, 2010, 11:08 am by Greg

Jeff McCarthy and Harriet Harris (photo by Kevin Sprague)

Jeff McCarthy and Harriet Harris (photo by Kevin Sprague)

“Sweeney Todd” is a tantalizing tale of injustice, obsession and all-consuming revenge. It’s about madness, murder and meat-pies.

Yes, it is classic Stephen Sondheim, a wickedly witty night of theater that is Shakespearean in scope and operatic in its complex musicality and richness of emotion.

And the delightfully deranged production on the boards at Barrington Stage Co. in Pittsfield is as sharp as a razor.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Sweeney Todd”: The Berkshires’ Barber of Barrington for 2010

November 20th, 2009, 12:00 pm by Greg

The first snows of the winter haven’t fallen yet – at least, not here at Nippertown.com headquarters – but plenty of local arts organizations are already focused squarely on their upcoming summer season of offerings.

The Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass. is first out of the box with the announcement that the centerpiece musicial of their 2010 summer season will be “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” the winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Opening on Thursday, June 17, the production will celebrate the 80th birthday of the musical’s composer Stephen Soundheim. The show will run through Saturday, July 17.

The Barrington Stage Co. production will be directed by Julianne Boyd and will star Jeff McCarthy, who has previous graced the Barrington Stage in performances of “Follies” and “Mack and Mabel.” In addition’s McCarthy has starred on Broadway as Billy Flynn in the revival of “Chicago,” Officer Lockstock in the original production of “Urinetown,” and Beast in the original production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Special discounts are available on tickets purchased before the end of the year.

It’s going to be a bloody good time!

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