Sweeney Todd (musical)



Sweeney Todd
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Original logo
MusicStephen Sondheim
LyricsStephen Sondheim
BookHugh Wheeler
Based uponLegend of Sweeney Todd (Christopher Bond's version)
Productions1979 Broadway
1980 West End
1980 U.S. Tour
1982 U.S. Tour
1989 Broadway revival
2000 New York City concert
2001 San Francisco concert
2001 Chicago concert
2002 Lyric Opera of Chicago
2003 Royal Opera House, London
2004 West End revival
2005 Broadway revival
2007 U.S. Tour
2007 London concert
AwardsTony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Book
Tony Award for Best Score
Drama Desk Outstanding Musical
Drama Desk Outstanding Book
Drama Desk Outstanding Lyrics
Drama Desk Outstanding Music
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a Tony Award-winning musical with a book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical is based on the 19th-century legend of Sweeney Todd, and specifically upon the 1973 play by Christopher Bond.

Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre on March 1 1979. The musical played for 576 performances. The story centers on the character of Sweeney Todd, formerly known as Benjamin Barker, who returns from the penal colonies in Australia, where he has spent fifteen years on false charges. When he learns from Mrs. Lovett, whose meat pies are the worst in London, that his wife poisoned herself after being raped by Judge Turpin, and his daughter is the ward of Judge Turpin, who imprisoned him, he vows revenge. The two become conspirators in a dark plot that results in mass murder, booming business for Lovett's shop, and ultimately tragedy.

Synopsis

Prologue


An organ prelude sets the scene before being cut off by the deafening intrustion of a factory whistle. The Company comes forth and exhorts the audience to "attend the tale of Sweeney Todd" ("The Ballad of Sweeney Todd").

Act I


The story begins as Anthony Hope and Sweeney Todd disembark from a boat in London. Anthony sings of his adventures as a sailor, but notes that there's "No Place Like London." Despite Hope's enthusiasm, Todd is grim and uneasy. They are accosted by a mad Beggar Woman, who claims to recognize Todd. Todd furiously chases her away. As they are about to part ways, Todd, trance-like, tells a tragic story ("The Barber and his Wife"). There was a young and naïve barber who had a beautiful and virtuous wife. A lustful judge exiled the barber so that he could prey upon the wife. Todd leaves Hope, indicating that he will be staying near Fleet Street.

Todd searches for the apartment where he once lived, on the second floor of a meat-pie shop. The shop's proprietress, Mrs. Lovett, complains about her business competition while admitting that her products are pretty poor because of the unavailability of meat ("The Worst Pies in London"). She relates the sad tale of the tenant who lived upstairs years ago: the barber, Benjamin Barker, whose wife was raped by the lecherous Judge Turpin and his corrupt cohort, the beadle ("Poor Thing"). The Judge sent the barber to prison on a trumped-up charge; the unhappy wife poisoned herself, and Barker's infant daughter, Johanna, became a ward of the Judge. Mrs. Lovett realizes that Sweeney is the same barber, much changed through years of deprivation (although she still finds him as alluring as she secretly did before). Mrs. Lovett has kept the barber's razors and restores them to their owner. Sweeney sings a sweet ode to his razors and their sinister possibilities ("My Friends").

Now we see Johanna, the daughter grown up, comparing her captive fate to that of a caged bird ("Green Finch and Linnet Bird"). Anthony spots her and is immediately smitten ("Ah, Miss") and pledges to woo her ("Johanna").

In the marketplace, the barber Adolfo Pirelli and his drum-beating tout, Tobias, try to sell a cure-all for hair loss ("Pirelli's Miracle Elixir"). Sweeney, after exposing the elixir as fraud, challenges Pirelli to a shaving competition and wins ("The Contest"). Sweeney invites the Beadle to drop by for a shave at his salon.

Later, at the salon, Todd impatiently waits for the Beadle's arrival, and Mrs. Lovett urges him to be patient ("Wait"). Pirelli appears and reveals that he has deduced Sweeney's real identity, and attempts to blackmail Todd. Todd kills him.

The Judge is tormented by his lust for his ward ("Mea Copa") and announces he will marry her. This causes Anthony and Johanna to secretly plot an elopement ("Kiss Me"). Meanwhile, the Beadle suggests that the Judge spruce himself up at Todd's barbershop to better win Johanna's affections ("Ladies in their Sensitivities").

With Turpin at his shop, Todd prepares to exact his revenge ("Pretty Women"). Before his razor can do its work, Anthony arrives to tell him about the elopement, accidentally informing the outraged Judge. Todd, furious, becomes entirely unhinged and broadens the target of his vengeance to all of society ("Epiphany"). Mrs. Lovett, always alert to a business opportunity, figures that Pirelli's body won't be the last corpse to pass through the shop and suggests that they use the meat of Todd's victims in her pies ("A Little Priest"). Todd, inspired by the practicality and poetry of the idea, agrees.

Act II


With its new menu, the pieshop is thriving; Mrs. Lovett has even hired the now-unemployed Tobias ("God, That's Good"). Todd and Mrs. Lovett have devised a new system for the meat delivery; when Todd kills someone, he sends the body parts down a chute directly to the bake house.

Things are going less well for Anthony: Johanna has disappeared. Todd thinks upon the loss of his daughter, ultimately becoming more and more deadened to it as he loses himself in his bloody vengeance he exacts on his customers ("Johanna"). As more prosperity reaches Mrs. Lovett, the Beggar Woman becomes suspicious and attempts to warn the people. Mrs. Lovett daydreams about married life with Todd at the seashore ("By the Sea").

Anthony discovers the Judge has committed Johanna to an asylum. With Todd's help, he gains admission to the asylum on the pretext of being a wigmaker desiring to purchase the inmates' hair. Unbeknownst to Anthony, Todd sends a letter to the Judge letting him know about Anthony's intent to spring Johanna; with this, he hopes to lure the Judge to his shop.

Meanwhile, Tobias proclaims his affection for Mrs. Lovett and his suspicion of Sweeney Todd's behavior ("Not While I'm Around"). Worried that he knows too much, Mrs. Lovett locks him in the bakehouse. Neighbors have noticed strange smells from the bakehouse's chimney, and the Beadle arrives to investigate. He and Mrs. Lovett wait for Sweeney ("Parlor Songs").

Todd takes the Beadle upstairs for a free shave. Tobias is still in the basement grinding the meat, just as the corpse of the Beadle comes down the chute. Horrified, he tries to escape but realizes that he is locked in.

At the Asylum, Hope enters and he and Johanna escape. They flee the asylum and return to Todd's shop ("City on Fire"). Hope leaves Johanna there to chart their escape. The Beggar Woman appears, and Johanna, frightened, hides. Todd discovers the Beggar Woman in his parlor, and she desperately tries to warn him about Mrs. Lovett. As Judge Turpin arrives, Todd frantically slits the Beggar Woman's throat and sends her down the chute before Turpin can see her. "Hey, don't I know you, Mister?" are her dying words.

Judge Turpin enters the shop looking for Johanna. Todd convinces him that she is safe with Mrs. Lovett and ready to be reunited with him. Excited, the judge asks for a shave ("Pretty Women Reprise"). Once again overjoyed to have Turpin in his clutches, Todd reveals his identity to the judge and slits his throat. As Todd leaves the parlor to kill Tobias, Johanna emerges from her hiding place and escapes.

In the bakehouse, Mrs. Lovett struggles with the still-living Judge, who finally gives up the ghost. She then becomes distraught at the sight of the Beggar Woman. Todd bursts in, sees the Beggar Woman in the light, and realizes that she is his wife Lucy, whom he believed was dead. Todd furiously accuses Mrs. Lovett of deceiving him. Mrs. Lovett confesses the truth to Sweeney, but insists that she never lied, that Lucy had indeed taken poison, but it didn't kill her - it drove her insane. Todd calms Mrs. Lovett down, and begins to waltz with her, proclaiming his love for her. But it is only a ploy - Todd waltzes Mrs. Lovett to the oven and traps her in a fiery grave.

Distraught at the cost of his vengeance, Todd sinks to the floor and cradles his beloved wife Lucy in his arms. Tobias enters and stumbles towards the barber, killing the compliant Todd with his own razor. Tobias has lost his mind; he is unable to stop grinding the meat grinder.

Epilogue


The Company emerges again and retells the "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd." The show concludes as Sweeney Todd and his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, declare that "to seek revenge may lead to hell, but everyone does it, and seldom as well as Sweeney, as Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street..."

List of musical numbers

Prologue
  • Organ Prelude
  • The Ballad of Sweeney Todd - Company
Act I
  • No Place Like London - Sweeney Todd, Anthony Hope
  • The Barber and His Wife - Beggar Woman
  • The Worst Pies in London - Mrs. Lovett
  • Poor Thing - Mrs. Lovett
  • My Friends - Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett
  • The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (reprise)
  • Green Finch and Linnet Bird - Johanna
  • Ah, Miss - Anthony Hope and Beggar Woman
  • Johanna - Anthony Hope
  • Pirelli's Miracle Elixir - Tobias Ragg, Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett and Company
  • The Contest - Pirelli
  • The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (reprise)
  • Mea Copa - Judge Turpin
  • Wait - Mrs. Lovett
  • The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (Three Tenors)
  • Kiss Me - Johanna and Anthony Hope
  • Ladies in Their Sensitivities - The Beadle
  • Kiss Me (Quartet) - Johanna, Anthony Hope, The Beadle and Judge Turpin
  • Pretty Women - Sweeney Todd and Judge Turpin
  • Epiphany - Sweeney Todd
  • A Little Priest - Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett

Act II
  • God, That's Good! - Tobias Ragg, Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd, Beggar Woman and Customers
  • Johanna (Quartet) - Anthony Hope, Sweeney Todd, Johanna, Beggar Woman
  • By the Sea - Mrs. Lovett
  • Wigmaker Sequence; The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (reprise) - Sweeney Tood, Anthony Hope, Ensemble
  • The Letter - Ensemble
  • Not While I'm Around - Tobias Ragg, Mrs. Lovett
  • Parlor Songs - The Beadle, Mrs. Lovett
  • The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (reprise) - Ensemble
  • Fogg's Asylum; Fogg's Passacaglia - Ensemble
  • City On Fire - Lunatics, Johanna, Anthony Hope
  • Searching - Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett, Anthony Hope, Johanna
  • The Judge's Return - Sweeney Todd, Judge Turpin
  • Final Sequence - Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett
  • The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (Epilogue) - Company

Productions

Original Broadway production
After nineteen previews, the Broadway production, directed by Hal Prince and choreographed by Larry Fuller, opened on March 1, 1979 at the Uris Theatre. Despite initial poor audience reaction -- on opening night, half the audience is said to have left in disgust at intermission -- the show ran for 557 performances, closing on June 29, 1980. The cast included Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Lovett), Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd), Victor Garber (Anthony Hope), Sarah Rice (Johanna), Merle Louise (Beggar Woman), Ken Jennings (Tobias Ragg), Edmund Lyndeck (Judge Turpin) and Craig Lucas (member of the Company). Lansbury won her fourth Tony award for her performance.

Original West End production
The musical opened in London's West End on July 2 1980 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, starring Denis Quilley and Sheila Hancock and ran for 157 performances.

U.S. national tour
The first U.S. national tour started on October 24, 1980 in Washington DC and ended in August 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Lansbury was joined by George Hearn, who had replaced Len Cariou in the Broadway production. A second tour started on February 23, 1982 in Wilmington, Delaware and ended on July 17, 1982 in Toronto, Canada. June Havoc and Ross Petty starred.

1989 Broadway revial
The first Broadway revival opened on September 14 1989 at the Circle in the Square Theatre, where it ran for 188 performances after 47 previews. It was produced by Theodore Mann and directed by Susan H. Schulman; the cast included Bob Gunton and Beth Fowler.
Enlarge picture
Sweeney Todd at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 2006


1994 Los Angeles production
In 1994, East West Players in Los Angeles staged a revival directed by Tim Dang, featuring a largely Asian Pacific American cast. It was also the first time the show had been presented in an intimate house (Equity 99-seat). The production received 5 Ovation Awards including the Franklin Levy Award for Best Musical (Smaller Theatre) and Best Director (Musical) for Dang.

Opera house performances
In the early 2000s, Sweeney Todd gained acceptance with opera companies throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Australia. Bryn Terfel, the popular Welsh bass-baritone, performed the title role at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2002. It was performed at the Royal Opera House in London as part of the Royal Opera season (December 2003-January 2004). The Israeli National Opera has performed Sweeney Todd twice.

Concert productions
Hearn and LuPone in the 2001 San Francisco concert version
The show also had major concert productions with George Hearn, Patti LuPone, Neil Patrick Harris, and Audra McDonald joining the New York Philharmonic in May 2000; Hearn, LuPone, and Harris reuniting with the San Francisco Symphony in July 2001; and at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago on August 24, 2001 with most of the cast from the preceding concerts. London's Royal Festival Hall is hosting a four-day concert production in July 2007 starring Bryn Terfel, Maria Friedman, Daniel Boys, Steve Elias and Philip Quast.[1]

Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration
As part of the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration, a production of Sweeney Todd ran from May 10, 2002 until June 30, 2002, starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski. [2]

2004-05 West End and Broadway revivals and 2007 tour
In 2004 John Doyle directed a revival of the musical at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, England, which subsequently transferred to the West End's Trafalgar Studios and then the New Ambassadors Theatre. The production was notable for having no orchestra, with the actors themselves playing the score. This marked the first time in nearly ten years that a Sondheim show had been presented in the commercial West End. This production transferred to Broadway, with a new cast which starred Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone. It opened on November 3 2005 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it ran for 384 performances. The cast, as in London, accompanied themselves on the instruments.

A tour of this production starring Judy Kaye (who temporarily replaced Patti Lupone in the Broadway run) as Mrs. Lovett and David Hess as Sweeney Todd began its pre-tour performances on August 30, 2007 at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. This production is currently scheduled to tour the United States through June 2008. [3]

Film

A feature film adaptation of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd began principal production on February 5, 2007. Tim Burton directs from a screenplay by John Logan. It stars Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd, Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, Sacha Baron Cohen as Signor Adolfo Pirelli, Laura Michelle Kelly as the Beggar Woman, and Timothy Spall as Beadle Bamford. The Dreamworks/Warner Bros. production is slated for release on December 21, 2007.

Themes

Sweeney Todd can be interpreted in several respects. Stephen Sondheim believes it to be a story of revenge and how it consumes a vengeful person, while Prince believed it to be an allegory of capitalism and its selfish qualities. [1] Both themes are supported throughout the play.

Capitalism
Mrs. Lovett can be seen as an allegory of capitalism: although she is lovable in a bizarre way, she only does what benefits herself, and rarely thinks of others.

Revenge
The revenge theme is found in Sweeney Todd in particular; He begins to forget his daughter in his own quest for retribution: "Although I'll think of you, I guess, Until the day I die, I think I miss you less and less as every day goes by, Johanna" [4]

Todd is thus now killing for killing's sake, and has lost his humanity. The final example of this is his killing of the beggar woman so as to destroy the judge. However, he has killed Lucy by accident. Thus, he has killed his wife in order to kill the man who ruined her life. As a result of his lust for vengeance, he has lost everything.

Loss of Innocence


Tobias is one of the key symbols of corruption in the play. Tobias cheerfully lies to the shoppers about miracle elixir with a lack of conscience, emphasizing corruption of innocence and greed.

However, Tobias still has innocence; He sings to Mrs. Lovett that "nothins gonna harm you, not while I'm around" with love, pure innocence, and sincerity. However, Mrs. Lovett, plotting to kill him, sings the same with a subtly sinister, corrupt change in tone, again emphasizing the corruption of innocence.

Musical analysis

Sondheim's score is one of his most complex to date. It relies heavily on counterpoint and rich, angular harmonies in the show. Its compositional style has been compared to those of Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev, and Bernard Herrmann (scores for horror films). Sondheim also quotes the ancient Dies Irae Gregorian chant, both as part of the eponymous ballad that runs throughout the score, in a musical inversion later on, and in the accompaniment to "Epiphany". He also relies heavily on leitmotif - at least twenty distinct ones can be identified throughout the score. Depending on how and where the show is presented, it is sometimes considered an opera. [5]

In his essay for the 2005 cast album, Jeremy Sams finds it most relevant to compare Sondheim's work with operas that similarly explore the psyche of a mad murderer or social outcast, such as Alban Berg's Wozzeck (based on the 1925 play by Georg Buchner) and Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes (1945). On the other hand, it can be seen as a precursor to the later trend of musicals based on horror themes, The Phantom of the Opera (1986) and Dance of the Vampires (1997), which used the description of the trend, "grusical", as its commercial label.

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production
  • Tony Award for Best Musical (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Original Score (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Cariou, winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Lansbury, winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Scenic Design (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Costume Design (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Lighting Design (nominee)
  • Theatre World Award (Ken Jennings and Sarah Rice, winners)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Cariou, winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Lansbury, winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Jennings, winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Merle Louise, winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design (nominee)
1989 Broadway revival
  • Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Gunton, nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Fowler, nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Revival (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Gunton, nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Fowler, nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival (nominee)
2005 Broadway revival
  • Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (Cerveris, nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (LuPone, nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Manoel Felciano, nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Orchestrations (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Cerveris, nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (LuPone, nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Alexander Gemignani, nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design of a Musical (nominee)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design (winner)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Sound Design (nominee)

Recordings and broadcasts

An original Broadway cast recording was released in 1979. It included the Judge's "Johanna" from Act 1, which had been cut in previews. [2]

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. ([3] )It was later released on both VHS and DVD. ([4]]

In July 1994, the Royal National Theatre revival production starring Denis Quilley and Julia McKenzie was broadcast by the BBC.[6] Opera North's production was also broadcast by the BBC on March 30, 1998 as was the Royal Opera House production in 2003.

In 1995, the Barcelona cast recorded a cast album sung in Catalan. This production was also broadcast on Spanish television.

The 2000 New York City Concert was recorded and released in a deluxe 2-CD set. [5]

In 2001, the same concert was held in San Francisco with the same leads and minor cast changes. It was also videotaped and broadcast on PBS, and then was released to VHS and DVD in 2001. [6]

The 2005 Broadway revival also was recorded [7]. The producers originally planned only a single-disk "highlights" version; however, they soon realized that they had recorded more music than what could be fit on one disk and it was not financially feasible to bring the performers back in to re-record. The followings songs were cut: Wigmaker Sequence, The Letter, Parlour Songs, City On Fire, and half of the final sequence (which includes The Judge's Return).[7]

References

1. ^ Gans, Andrew (2007-06-13), Terfel, Friedman, Evans and Quast to Star in London Sweeney Todd, Playbill.com, <[8] (retrieved on 2007-06-14)
2. ^ [9]
3. ^ [10] broadwayworld.com article, 9/08/07
4. ^ From the lyrics to 'Johanna (Quartet)', sung by the character Sweeny Todd
5. ^ New York Times, Richard Eder, March 2, 1979, pg. C3
6. ^ Hutchins, Michael H. Sweeney Todd at the Sondheim Guide. Retrieved on 2006-09-25.
7. ^ Fanning, Frank. Sweeney Todd at the Cast Album Database. Retrieved on 2006-09-25.

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Ain't Misbehavin'
Tony Award for Best Musical
1979
Succeeded by
Evita
Preceded by
On the Twentieth Century
by Cy Coleman
Tony Award for Best Original Score
1979
by Stephen Sondheim
Succeeded by
Evita
by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
Preceded by
On the Twentieth Century
by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
1979
by Hugh Wheeler
Succeeded by
Evita
by Tim Rice
Sweeney Todd may mean:
  • Sweeney Todd, a (most likely) fictional homicidal barber
  • Sweeney Todd (musical), a musical by Stephen Sondheim based on the character
  • , a 2007 film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical

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Stephen Joshua Sondheim (b. March 22 1930) is an American stage musical and film composer and lyricist, one of the few people to win an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards (seven, more than any other composer), multiple Grammy Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize.
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Stephen Joshua Sondheim (b. March 22 1930) is an American stage musical and film composer and lyricist, one of the few people to win an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards (seven, more than any other composer), multiple Grammy Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize.
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Hugh Callingham Wheeler (19 March 1912 - 26 July 1987) was an English-born playwright, librettist, poet, and translator who resided in America from 1946 until his death. Under the noms de plume Patrick Quentin, Q.
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legend (Latin, legenda, "things to be read") is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude.
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Sweeney Todd is a fictional villain/antihero whose actual existence, whether under a different name or not, is disputed.
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Christopher Bond (fl. 1970s) is a British playwright whose 1973 retelling of the Victorian tale Sweeney Todd formed the basis of Stephen Sondheim's musical of the same name, with book by Hugh Wheeler. He currently lives in West Cornwall.

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West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre in London, England, or sometimes more specifically for shows staged in the large theatres of London's "Theatreland".
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A revival is a restaging of a former hit play at a later date. New material may be added.

A filmed version of a play is said to be an adaptation. This requires the writing of a screenplay.
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