A revival of the beloved Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd led by Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford is rumored to arrive on Broadway in spring of 2023.
Broadway Journal has reported that producer Jeffrey Seller and director Thomas Kail, who previously collaborated on Hamilton, are prepping the project for a Broadway bow. Groban would take on the role of Sweeney, while Ashford would play Mrs. Lovett.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street features music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, based on an earlier play of the same name by Christopher Bond. The musical debuted on Broadway in 1979 in a production starring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. It has been revived several times on and Off Broadway, most recently at Greenwich House Theater in an immersive production set within a constructed pie shop.
Seller and Kail are planning a grand production with a full orchestra. The rumored venue is Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theater.
“Presenting the Grand Guignol story in grand style won’t come cheap … Weekly running costs for the 2023 revival are projected to be about $840,000, not including royalties and percentage rent,” reported Philip Boroff in the Journal, noting that “high expenses impede profitability and the ability of a musical to survive box office lulls.”
Groban, however, is a huge draw. When he led Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway, it often grossed more than $1 million per week at the Imperial Theatre.
Set in Victorian London, Sweeney Todd tells the tale of a murderous, revenge-seeking barber and his pie-baking accomplice Mrs. Lovett, who uses her culinary skills to dispose of Sweeney’s victims.
The production would be one of three Sondheim revivals staged in his death. Revivals of Company and Into The Woods hit Broadway this season, and a new revival of Merrily We Roll Along starring Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez begins previews at New York Theatre Workshop in November, with aspirations for Broadway.