2005 Production of Sweeney Todd​ with Patti LuPONE & Michael Cerveris


This was the official website for the 2005 revival and new production of Sweeney Todd​. The content below is from the site's 2005 archived pages and additional outside sources.

Fresh Blood: A New Sweeney Todd with Cerveris and LuPone Opens on Broadway, Nov. 3

NOV 03, 2005
Blood pours in bucketfuls as Benjamin Barker returns to London for vengeance in the new unique revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which opens on Broadway Nov. 3.

John Doyle, who staged the original London run, directs the musical which began on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Oct. 3.
In a new conceptual take on the vengeful barber, the tale of Sweeney Todd is retold in the confines of an asylum where a distraught Tobias Ragg is locked up. Using only nine chairs, a ladder, and a coffin on two wooden horses upon a stage assembled of long wooden planks, ten actor-musicians recreate the characters and events on Fleet Street.

The Sondheim score (with the book by Hugh Wheeler from a Christopher Bond adaptation) is performed in full view by the ensemble on instruments ranging from tuba, trumpet and clarinet to cello, accordion and bass in addition to their acting and singing duties.

Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris (Assassins) stars in the title role opposite Tony Award winner Patti LuPone (Evita) as the lovable meatpie-maker Mrs. Lovett — her first Broadway musical role in 17 years.

Cerveris and LuPone are joined by John Arbo (musician on Good Vibrations) as Jonas Fogg, Donna Lynne Champlin (Hollywood Arms, James Joyce's The Dead) as Pirelli, Manoel Felciano (Shockheaded Peter, Brooklyn) as Tobias Ragg, Alexander Gemignani (Assassins) as The Beadle, Mark Jacoby ( Man of La Mancha, Show Boat) as Judge Turpin and Broadway newcomers Diana DiMarzio (as Beggar Woman), Benjamin Magnuson (as Anthony Hope) and Lauren Molina (as Johanna). The instrument assignment is as follows: The Beadle - keyboard/trumpet, Beggar Woman - clarinet, Anthony - cello/ keyboard, Johanna - cello/penny whistle, Jonas Fogg - bass, Tobias - violin/clarinet/keyboard, Pirelli - accordion/keyboard/flute, Judge Turpin - trumpet/orchestra bells/ percussion, Mrs. Lovett- tuba/orchestra bells/ percussion and Sweeney Todd - guitar/orchestra bells/percussion.

A Best Actress (Musical) Tony Award winner for her turn in Evita, LuPone was last seen in a musical on Broadway (ironically as Reno Sweeney) in the 1988 revival of Anything Goes — for which she was Tony-nominated. The actress has remained in the New York spotlight with appearances in the New York Philharmonic's Candide concert, the City Center Encores! run of Cole Porter's Can-Can, as well as non-musical turn for Broadway’s Noises Off, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class and her concerts Patti LuPone on Broadway and Matters of the Heart.

Cerveris won a Tony Award for his turn as Booth in the 2004 revival of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. The actor has appeared Off-Broadway in Wintertime and Fifth of July and also earned a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway debut as the title role in The Who's Tommy. Other stage credits include Passion, Titanic and the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh and Richard Frankel present Sweeney Todd with the Ambassador Theatre Group (which co-produced the run with The Watermill Theatre at the West End's New Ambassador Theatre), Adam Kenwright & Tulchin/Bartner/Bagert Productions for the new Broadway staging.
Director Doyle provides his own scenic and costume design with a creative team that also features Richard G. Jones (lighting), Dan Moses Schreier (sound), Paul Huntley (hair and wig). David Loud serves as resident music supervisor, John Miller is music coordinator. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Sarah Travis.

Nonesuch — the company that has previously released Sondheim's Saturday Night, The Frogs/Evening Primrose, Into The Woods and Bounce — will put forth the new cast recording for the production. Details and dates are forthcoming.

The songlist includes "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," "No Place Like London," "The Barber and His Wife," "The Worst Pies in London," "Poor Thing," "My Friends," "Green Finch and Linnet Bird," "Ah, Miss," "Johanna," "Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir," "The Contest," "Wait," "Kiss Me," "Ladies in Their Sensitivities," "Quartet," "Pretty Women," "Epiphany," "A Little Priest," "God, That’s Good!," "Johanna," "By the Sea," "Not While I’m Around," "Parlor Songs," "City on Fire!," "Final Sequence" and "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd."


PATTI LuPONE (Mrs. Lovett) is thrilled to be re-inhabiting the role of Nellie Lovett in John Doyle's production having made her debut with the NY Philharmonic in the 2000 concert version of Sweeney Todd. She went on to reprise her performance with the San Francisco Symphony, as well as at the Ravinia Festival Sondheim 75 and on the Emmy winning PBS "Great Performances" telecast. Her recent New York stage appearances include: Fosca in Passion (Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series), Candide (New York Philharmonic), Can Can ( City Center Encores), the Broadway productions of Michael Frayn's Noises Off, David Mamet's The Old Neighborhood and Terrence McNally's Master Class, as well as her concerts Matters of the Heart (Lincoln Center Theater), Patti LuPone on Broadway and three sold-out solo concerts at Carnegie Hall. Last season at the Kennedy Center she starred in the title role in Marc Blitzstein's Regina. Awards: Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Miss Ziegfeld.

MICHAEL CERVERIS (Sweeney Todd) Broadway: Assassins (Tony Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Original Cast Grammy nomination), The Who's Tommy (Tony nomination, Theater World Award, Original Cast Grammy) and Titanic. West End: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Off-Broadway & LA-Garland Award, Ovation Award nom.) Off-Broadway: premieres and revivals by Charles L. Mee, Lanford Wilson, Maria Irene Fornes and Christopher Hampton, The Games with Meredith Monk and Ping Chong (BAM Next Wave), Duncan Sheik's Spring Awakening and Sondheim's Passion for Live From Lincoln Center (PBS). Regional: Romeo, Puck, Crow in Tooth of Crime, Richard II, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, Eastern Standard, Passion, Anyone Can Whistle, Sunday In The Park With George and A Little Night Music (Jefferson award nomination). Film includes The Mexican and Paul Auster's Lulu on the Bridge. TV: series regular on "Fame" and "The American Embassy," "CSI," "dr. vegas," "The Equalizer" and others. He toured the US & UK as guitarist with punk icon Bob Mould and released his own indierock debut solo album Dog Eared on Low Heat Records. His new band, Tiny Mammoth, plan a debut in 2006




"ONE HELLUVA SHOW! Thrilling and ferociously inventive."

Ben Brantley New York Times

"This minimalist re-imagining is almost unbearably thrilling."

John Lahr New Yorker

"In recent years, no two Broadway musicals have been more viscerally and emotionally satisfying than last season's unnerving Assassins and this sanguinary gem."

Jeremy McCarter

"A new incarnation that reinvigorates this monumental show with startling clarity and invention."

David Rooney

"The greatest musical of the past half-century has returned to Broadway in a staging of the utmost force and originality, an event that theatergoers will be talking about for years to come."

Terry Teachout Wall Street Journal

"Demons are prowling in this riveting rethinking of a masterwork."

Peter Travers RollingStone

Sweeney Todd opened for previews October 3, 2005. Opening night is November 3, 2005.

In the meantime, please read critics' raves about the London production below:


"Mesmerizing and magnificent!"
- London Daily Telegraph

"Musical theater does not get more thrilling!"
- The Economist

"A terrific production of Sondheim's greatest musical!"
- London Daily Telegraph

"A thrilling experience!"
- Time Out London

"Razor sharp. . .viciously brilliant!"
- Daily Express

"Never has miraculous music theatre been presented more inventively!"
- Sunday Times



Courtesy of PBS.org.


Black pudding or blood sausage

The name says it all.

Serves 6.

5 cups fresh pig's blood

1 1/3 cups bread cut into cubes

5 cups milk

1 pound cooked barley

1 pound fresh beef suet

1 cup fine oatmeal

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried and crumbled mint

Put the bread cubes to soak in the milk in a warm oven. Do not heat the milk beyond blood temperature!

Have the blood ready in a large bowl and pour the warm milk and bread into it. Stir in the cooked barley.

Grate the beef suet into the mixture and stir it up with the oatmeal. Season with the salt, pepper and mint.

Have 2 or 3 large roasting pans ready. Divide the mixture between them - they should be no more than 3/4 full. Bake at 350°F for about an hour, or until the pudding is well cooked through.

To serve, cut into squares and fry in bacon fat or butter till heated through and the outside is crisp. Delicious for breakfast or for supper with fried apples and mashed potato.




The name "Howtowdie" is thought to come from Old French "hutaudeau," a pullet. In the 1800s it was served with poached eggs and was called "Howtowdie wi' drappit eggs" (drappit = dropped).

Serves 6.

3 pounds broiler, frying chicken

1 large onion finely chopped

6 medium onions

1 cup margarine or butter, melted

1 cup margarine

1 cup regular rolled oats

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Cook and stir the large onion in the cup of melted margarine in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until light brown. Stir in rolled oats, salt, coriander, pepper and nutmeg. Cook and stir until oats are golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

Fill wishbone area of chicken with stuffing mixture. Fasten neck skin to back with skewer. Fold wings across back with tips touching. Fill body cavity lightly (do not overstuff). The stuffing will expand while cooking.

Place chicken breast side up in shallow roasting pan. Cut the medium onions in half and arrange around the chicken.

Brush chicken and onions with margarine. Roast uncovered in 375°F oven, brushing chicken and onions several times with remaining margarine until chicken and onions are done, about 1 hour.



Cock-A-Leekie Stew

According to tradition, this dish evolved from cockfighting. The loser was tossed into the pot with leeks for flavor, and spectators all shared the stew.

Serves 6.

3 pounds frying chicken, cut into 8 pieces

1 pound beef shanks, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 cups chicken stock

3 slices thick cut bacon

1 tablespoon dried leaf thyme

1 whole bay leaf

1 cup pearl barley

1 cup chopped leek (white only)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoon chopped parsley

Put the chicken, beef, stock, bacon, thyme and bay leaf in a large, heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil barley in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Remove chicken from pot. When cool enough to handle, debone and set aside.

Add leeks and barley to pot and simmer 15 minutes.

Remove beef shanks and debone. Chop meat coarsely and return to pot, along with the chicken.

Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley.



Bubble & Squeak

This is a very old dish, used as a way to finish up the leftovers. The name comes from what happens when you cook it.

Serves 6.

1 medium head cabbage, sliced

3 slices bacon, diced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 cup cooked, cubed ham or beef

1 tablespoon butter

3 cups potatoes, mashed

1 teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cook cabbage in small amount of water until done, about 5 minutes. Drain, remove cabbage and set aside.

In same pan, sauté bacon and onion until soft, add ham, and cook until heated through.

Stir in butter, then add the cooked cabbage.

Mix in potatoes and stir well. Season with paprika, salt and pepper.

Cook for additional 15 minutes without stirring, so that the edges and underside are browned but not stuck.

Serve piping hot.



Chatwetty's-Traditional Meat Pie

A 15th-century recipe, not Mrs. Lovett's.

Serves 8.


1 pound pork or veal, cubed

1 cup water

Pastry for 8-inch double pie crust

6 tablespoons chopped dates

6 tablespoons currants

2 teaspoons salt

5 saffron threads

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground mace

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup red wine

1 tablespoon wine vinegar

10 egg yolks

In saucepan, simmer meat in water 20 minutes. Drain.

Line 8-inch square baking dish with pastry.

In medium-sized bowl, combine meat, dates and currants. Place meat mixture into pastry-lined dish.

In same bowl, combine salt, saffron, ginger, pepper, mace, cloves, wine, vinegar and 9 egg yolks, reserving 1 yolk.

Pour mixture over the meat.

Cover with top crust, crimp well, make triangular cuts in center and fold tips back.

Beat reserved yolk and brush on crust. Bake at 375°F until crust is browned and meat is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.




No frogs involved, but these sausages submerged in Yorkshire pudding give the appearance of little heads peeking out of holes.

Serves 4.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 pinch of salt

1 egg

1 cup milk


8 savory sausages (about a pound)

Put the flour in the mixing bowl, add salt and mix.

Make a well in the center and break the egg into it.

Slowly whisk the egg into the flour, making a thick paste. Keep mixing in more of the flour, adding some milk if the paste becomes too thick to manage and beating out any lumps.

When all the flour has been incorporated, add the rest of the milk and whisk the mixture thoroughly. The mixture should be like single cream in consistency, but if in doubt err on the liquid side.

Chill the mixture. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set.

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Smear a shallow baking pan with a little butter to prevent sticking. Arrange sausages and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, turn the oven up to 425°F so that the fat in the pan becomes smoking hot.

Remove batter from fridge and whisk before using again.

Reset oven temperature to 300°F. Remove sausages from oven and pour the batter over them. Return dish to oven. Bake for an additional 40 minutes.

Resist the urge to peek or the batter will collapse. The batter should rise and curl over the embedded sausages, ending up brown and crisp on the outside and soft and succulent on the inside.

Cut up the dish into portions and serve with cooked green vegetables on the side.




Syllabubs fall into three categories: Everlasting, Whipt and From the Cow. The first is essentially a flavored cream pudding; the second is similar, but floated in a glass of sweetened wine. The last is the result of the curdling that occurs when warm milk is squirted directly from a cow into a bowl of cider.

Serves 4 to 6.

1 large lemon

1 cup sugar

1 cup sherry

1 cup double cream

Grate the rind from your lemon, leaving all the white pith on the fruit.

Squeeze and strain juice into a bowl, then add lemon rind and stir in the sugar, sherry and cream.

Whisk, slowly to begin with, until thick.

Pour into a serving dish or into individual dishes and chill for a minimum of 2 hours.

Serve with finger biscuits.



Spotted Dick

Speculation is that this pudding's name came from its resemblance to a spotty dog, and dogs were often called "Dick" in Old England.

Serves 6.

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup suet

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons currants, sultanas, or raisins


Mix all the ingredients together and moisten with a little milk to make a stiff dough.

Tie tightly in a floured cloth, drop into boiling water and boil briskly for 2 hours.

Serve with sugar or hard sauce.



Love in Disguise

Fancy names were traditionally given to offal dishes like this one in order to mask their origins. This is really just a recipe for stuffed pig hearts.

Serves 6.

2 pounds pigs' hearts

1 small onion

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Bay leaves


2 lemons (zest only)

1 egg, beaten with milk

2 tablespoons milk, to beat with egg

2 teaspoon wine vinegar

French mustard

15 ounces canned tomatoes

A little stock

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons well-seasoned flour

Few spoonfuls yogurt (optional)

You may get 2 or 3 large hearts or several smaller ones. Whatever the size, they will be slashed; this is normal.

1. Wash the hearts and trim away waste - fat, membrane, gristle and arteries. Soak in lightly salted water for 10 minutes then rinse, drain and dry well.

2. Chop the onion finely and saute it in 2 tbls butter. Away from the heat, stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, 4 tbls parsley and lots of salt and pepper. Bind with the egg and milk. Use the mixture to stuff the heart cavities, and secure the openings with toothpicks or cocktail sticks - there is no need to make perfect closures.

3. Whizz the tomatoes in a blender, stir in the vinegar and add enough stock to make up to 2 cups.

4. Dust the hearts thoroughly with the well-seasoned flour.

5. Melt 2 tbls butter in a flameproof casserole, stir in the leftover flour and let it brown a little. Blend in the tomato mixture and make a smooth, bubbling hot sauce.

6. Lay the prepared hearts in the sauce and tuck the bay leaves among them. Cover with greaseproof paper and the lid, and cook at 325°F for 1 hour. Turn the hearts gently and continue cooking for 1 to 1 1/2 hours more until meat is tender.

7.Transfer the hearts to a warmed serving dish. Stir the mustard into the sauce, add salt and pepper to taste - and carefully blend in the yogurt if liked. Pour the sauce over the hearts, scatter lavishly with chopped parsley and serve with boiled potatoes or noodles.



Poor Knights

An ancient way to make stale bread tasty.

Serves 4.

4 thick slices of bread

2 eggs beaten

1 cup white or red wine

1 tablespoon sugar

Oil for frying

Confectioners sugar to serve

Cinnamon to serve

Cut crusts off bread and cut into quarters. Place in a deep dish.

In a bowl, mix eggs with wine, cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the bread and leave to soak for 3 minutes.

Pour oil 1/2-inch deep into pan. Heat on medium high. Drain the bread and slide it into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and ground cinnamon.