Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 1979 musical thriller with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and libretto by Hugh Wheeler. The musical is based on the 1973 play Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Christopher Bond. Set in 19th century England, the musical tells the story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years' transportation on trumped-up charges. When he finds out that his wife poisoned herself after being raped by the judge who transported him, he vows revenge on the judge and, later, the whole world. He teams up with a piemaker, Mrs. Lovett, and opens a barbershop in which he slits the throats of customers and has them baked into pies.
Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979 and in the West End in 1980. In addition to several revivals the musical has been presented by opera companies. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical and Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
Read more about Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street: Musical Numbers, Principal Roles, Film Adaptation, Cultural References, School Edition, Themes, Musical Analysis, Recordings and Broadcasts
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... A performance of the 1980 touring company was taped before an audience at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles during the first national tour, with additional taping done in an empty theatre ... It was televised on September 12, 1982, on The Entertainment Channel and broadcast on PBS ...
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“A city on th inconstant billows dancing;
For so appears this fleet majestical.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“No barber shaves so close but another finds his work.”
—English proverb, collected in George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs (1640)
“A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror.”
—George Gurdjieff (c. 18771949)
“Now Sweeney phones from London, W. 2,
saying, Martyr, my religion is love, is you.
Be seated, my Sweeney, my invisible fan.
Surely the words will continue, for thats
whats left thats true.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“The history of the genesis or the old mythology repeats itself in the experience of every child. He too is a demon or god thrown into a particular chaos, where he strives ever to lead things from disorder into order.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)