The Playbill Vault Celebrates Tony Award Winner Stephen Sondheim

By Megan Dekic
22 Mar 2014

In 1979 the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical Sweeney Todd, concerning a murderous barber seeking revenge, opened on Broadway. Len Cariou starred as the title character opposite Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett with Victor Garber as Anthony and Ken Jennings as Tobias.

The show opened March 1, 1979, at the Uris Theatre to rave reviews. The New York Times' Richard Eder wrote: "Mr. Sondheim has composed an endlessly inventive, highly expressive score that works indivisibly from his brilliant and abrasive lyrics." The production received eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and ran for 557 performances.

The most recent Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd opened in 2005 and starred Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris. This production was notable in that it did not have an orchestra. Instead, it featured a cast of actor-musicians who played the score themselves with musical instruments on stage.

Read the original Sweeney Todd Playbill here.