'Sweeney Todd' Is Making a Comeback

A new Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is reportedly in the works. The big-budget revival will star Josh Groban as the titular barber and Annaleigh Ashford as pie maker Mrs. Lovett reports Broadway Journal. If the production comes to fruition, it will be the first Broadway production of the show since 2005, although there was an Off-Broadway revival in 2017.

Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller is raising nearly $14.5 million to stage the production, reports Broadway Journal. Hamilton director Thomas Kail will stage the production, with a full orchestra, a source close to the production told the outlet. The casting of Groban and Ashford was included in an operating agreement sent to investors. Seller has not commented on the production.

The documents prove the production will not be cheap. Weekly costs could run up to about $840,00, not including royalties or percentage rent. It could take up to six months for the production to recoup its $14.5 million cost. The recoupment chart is based on staging the show at a 1,400-seat theater, but Seller is rumored to be considering the Nederlander-owned Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, which has about 1,500 seats.

The other issue Seller will have is that Broadway is facing a potential glut of Sonheim revivals following the icon's death in November 2021. This season saw revivals of Company and Into the Woods. An Off-Broadway revival of Merrily We Roll Along is scheduled to begin previews at New York Theatre Workshop on Nov. 21, reports Deadline. The production could draw huge audiences, as its cast includes Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff.

Sweeney Todd features music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler and is based on a play by Christopher Bond. It was first staged on Broadway in 1979, with revivals in 1989, 2005, and Off-Broadway in 2017. Johnny Depp played the title character in Tim Burton's 2007 film adaptation. The best-known songs in the show include "Pretty Women," "A Little Priest," "Johanna," and "Not While I'm Around." Groban recorded "Not While I'm Around" for his 2015 album Stages.

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Groban previously starred on Broadway in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Ashford is a Broadway veteran, winning a Tony for starring in You Can't Take It With You. She also starred in Kinky Boots and Sunday in the Park with George. Her recent TV credits include B Positive, Impeachment: American Crime Story, The Good Fight, and Younger.