The Tony Award-winning musical thriller “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet” will take center stage this summer at Palm Beach Dramaworks’ Don & Ann Brown Theatre in downtown West Palm Beach, running July 14 through Aug. 6.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, “Sweeney Todd” was the recipient of eight Tony Awards in 1979, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book.
This delightfully macabre tale of obsession and revenge is based on Christopher Bond’s 1973 play, which is a retelling of a British melodrama that dates back to 1847. Banished from England on a trumped-up charge by a corrupt judge who lusted after his wife, Sweeney escapes his confinement 15 years later and manages to return to London. He learns from his old neighbor, Mrs. Lovett, that his wife poisoned herself and that his daughter Johanna is now Judge Turpin’s ward.
Sweeney sets out in pursuit of the judge, and the plot twists are worthy of Shakespeare. As he goes increasingly mad, no one is safe from his razor. Mrs. Lovett becomes his enterprising cohort, grinding Sweeney’s victims into filling for the meat pies she sells at her shop – and turning a nice profit in the process.
The show is often referred to as Sondheim’s masterpiece, and it is among his most popular works.
“One of the reasons I’m excited to be doing Sweeney Todd, aside from the fact that it’s a wonderful work, is because I think it’s the kind of musical that will attract younger audiences and a more diverse demographic during the summer months,” says William Hayes, PBD producing artistic director.
The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is at 201 Clematis St. For tickets, call the box office at (561) 514-4042 or go online to palmbeachdramaworks.org.