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Complete Casting Announced for Broadway Sweeney Todd

By New York City
Alexander Gemignani
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Alexander Gemignani
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Complete casting has been announced for the upcoming Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. Joining previously announced stars Patti LuPone (Mrs. Lovett) and Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd) will be John Arbo (Jonas Fogg), Donna Lynne Champlin (Pirelli), Diana DiMarzio (Beggar Woman), Manoel Felciano (Tobias Ragg), Alexander Gemignani (The Beadle), Mark Jacoby (Judge Turpin), Benjamin Magnuson (Anthony Hope), and Lauren Molina (Johanna).

The production, to be directed and designed by John Doyle, with music supervision and orchestrations are by Sarah Travis, will begin performances on October 3 at the Eugene O'Neill Theater, with an official opening slated for November 3. First seen last year in London, this production uses only 10 actors, who also double as the show's musicians.

With a book by Hugh Wheeler, adapted from Christopher Bond's play, Sweeney Todd is based on the 19th-century legend of a London barber who is driven to murder when a malevolent judge takes his wife and child from him. His plan for revenge includes a cutthroat partnership with Mrs. Lovett, an enterprising businesswomen who is soon producing the tastiest meat pies in London. The original 1979 production of the musical ran more than 550 performances and won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, and Best Director (Harold Prince). A smaller-scale 1989 revival, dubbed "Teeny Todd" by some wags, ran nearly 200 performances and earned four Tony nominations.

Arbo has sung with the New York Vocal Arts Ensemble and played the bass in the Broadway orchestras of Miss Saigon and 42nd Street. Champlin's Broadway credits include Hollywood Arms, James Joyce's The Dead, and By Jeeves. DiMarzo is a trained opera singer who appeared as Aldonza in the national tour of Man of La Mancha and plays the clarinet. Feliciano's New York theater credits include Shockheaded Peter and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Gemignani has appeared on Broadway in Assassins and in the Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q. Mark Jacoby has starred on Broadway in Man of La Mancha, Show Boat, and Ragtime. Magnuson is a trained cellist and singer who recently graduated from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Molina has appeared in the York Theatre Company's presentation of Henry Sweet Henry.

Cerveris won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as John Wilkes Booth in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Sondheim's Assassins. His other Broadway credits include Titanic and The Who's Tommy, and he starred Off-Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

LuPone's most recent appearance in a Broadway musical was as Reno Sweeney in the 1987 Lincoln Center Theater production of Anything Goes, for which she earned a Tony Award nomination. LuPone won the Tony in 1980 for her performance in the title role of Evita. She has played leading roles in many Sondheim shows, including A Little Night Music, Passion, Anyone Can Whistle, and staged concert presentations of Sweeney Todd in New York and San Francisco.


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