Stage Review

Sweeney Todd

EW's GRADE
A

Details Lead Performance: Michael Cerveris; Writer: Stephen Sondheim; Director: John Doyle

If you can't recall the last time a live, writhing stage production gutted you stem to stern, attend the tale of Sweeney Todd. The 19th-century legend of tonsorial vengeance has never been told with such deadpan gothic glee. Director-designer John Doyle has turned the architecture of Stephen Sondheim's 1979 charnel house inside out, reimplanting it in a period asylum where the inmates perform Sweeney, even providing their own musical accompaniment. Michael Cerveris (demon barber Todd) and Patti LuPone (sly, pennywise accomplice Mrs. Lovett) will get your blood running in new and altogether disturbing directions.

Originally posted Dec 02, 2005 Published in issue #853 Dec 09, 2005 Order article reprints