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"Delivers on its ingenious, if limited, objective...This 'Sweeney' may raise your pulse rate....Yet unlike almost every previous 'Sweeney' I’ve seen, this one rarely penetrates your heart and mind. What we’re presented with is a self-contained, darkness-steeped spook house. And as with many amusement park entertainments, the jolts it elicits leave few aftershocks...It allows you to squeeze your partner’s arm in delighted anxiety, without paying the price of insomnia to come." Full Review
"Carmello is a revelation as Mrs. Lovett, unlocking the comic potential in one terrifyingly determined character...Lewis compensates with a velvety baritone that is able to express all the musical nuances in the score, even when there is nothing nuanced about his acting...Buckhurst's inventive staging makes us believe that any story can be told in any space with enough imagination." Full Review
“A thrillingly immersive revival, which takes an already great musical and turns it into a heart-pounding visceral experience…Secomb combines the efficient physicality of a remorseless killer with a truly lovely singing voice…Director Bill Buckhurst excels at drawing out suspense and tension in his staging…Tooting Arts Club's production is full of such memorable surprises. It pulls us into the heart of the story like no other musical playing in New York right now.” Full Review
"A chance to see two top-shelf singer/actors, Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello, transform a production that opened as an amusing Grand Guignol melodrama into a deeply moving and gorgeously sung evening of thrilling musical theatre...Lewis gives full value to Sondheim's music...His Sweeney Todd isn't a madman, but rather an emotionally wounded human driven to madness...Carmello draws you in with her character's absurd self-effacing humor and breaks your heart." Full Review
"The voices of the cast are uniformly robust. Secomb’s piercing glare and growling baritone give the demon barber the kind of sex appeal that makes mincemeat of a lusty lady like Mrs. Lovett...This tight-knit company, some of whom have been with the show since it originated in Tooting, also has a flair for the show’s undercurrents of black humor...All in all, this cheerily gory show is great family fun — if your family happens to be the Munsters." Full Review
"Sondheim and Wheeler’s killer-cannibal musical cuts a fine figure with a mostly new cast...In the title role, Norm Lewis is glum in repose but comes scarily alive when prowling through the audience, and Carolee Carmello is a vicious, hilarious marvel as his amoral and clingy accomplice, Mrs. Lovett. Even if you've seen 'Sweeney' many times already, Carmello makes it worth revisiting: She's giving a meaty, delicously human star performance." Full Review
“This high-concept staging is a bloody wonder…Bill Buckhurst and a hugely talented cast make this site-specific 'Sweeney' seem as natural as pie and mash…In this claustrophobic environment, the horror and madness is palpable…The sonic joys of Sondheim’s richly woven score and the Grand Guignol shocks of this primal tragedy are almost unbearably intense...This thrilling, overwhelming 'Sweeney' is a full-course meal: hot from the oven and dripping blood." Full Review
“Sondheim’s mid-career masterpiece…‘Sweeney Todd’ is filled with so much wonder that, especially when you have a cast and a director as talented as those involved in this London import, it can temporarily erase the memory of the cynicism or knowingness that informs so many other current productions..The actors perform without mugging. Their characterizations are organic, and they open Sondheim’s brilliant lyrics up to a new freshness: their interpretations are those of actors, not stars.” Full Review
"The gimmick, and the close quarters it entails, make this the most frightening 'Sweeney Todd' I’ve seen...The director Bill Buckhurst frequently has his cast bellowing in a space that doesn’t require it. It’s very effective, if at a cost to beauty...The score is a marvel of ingenious counterprogramming. That’s what makes the thrills thrill. The new production unfortunately flattens some of these effects...Still, when a production gets more than halfway there, it’s plenty. This one does." Full Review
"The terrific, pint-sized, meat pie & mash production of 'Sweeney Todd' has gotten terrificker, to coin a nongrammatical but pretty much accurate adjective...Altogether enhanced by the presence of a pair of strong-singing Broadway vets...The slight weakness of the production when it opened, for me, was the Lovett; good enough, but lacking the glazed insanity that need lurk near the surface of the character. Carolee Carmello shows us how it should be done!" Full Review
"This is a pint-sized production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler opus...Sondheim’s piano score for the musical is richly vibrant and as played by musical director Matt Aument, thoroughly and thrillingly fills the room...Yes, I prefer the full Jonathan Tunick treatment; but it wouldn’t work, or fit, here...The engagement seems to be an instant hit...This pie-shop 'Sweeney Todd' makes a tasty rendition of Sondheim’s masterwork, and serves up the show with style and thrills." Full Review
"A radical staging shift does not diminish its power...Places the thrilling tale...in its most logical setting—a meat pie shop—and the results are deliciously devilish...Buckhurst uses the intimate setting to create a terrifyingly close experience...Music director Matt Aument and his trio manage to impart the lushness of Sondheim’s complex and gorgeous score...Jeremy Secomb is probably the most frightening Sweeney you’ll ever see." Full Review
“Secomd as Sweeney Todd and Siobhán McCarthy as Mrs. Lovett are two of the four holdovers from the London production, and their simultaneously chilling and hilarious performances are reason enough to make this a must-see show…The other four cast members are welcome additions for the New York transfer…This production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ somehow feels seminal.” Full Review
"In this environment, and with such a gifted company, the musical's rattling terrors and jet-black comedy are felt with a power that, for me, recalls the electrifying effect of the original, still one of the top five experiences I've had in four decades of theatregoing...Everything in Buckhurst's production is infused with imagination...Buckhurst makes judicious use of audience interaction without ever undermining the show's savage viewpoint, its cruel and sinister jokes." Full Review
"The intimacy of the space is captivating. The actors move in and about the tables and customers. The fourth wall comes down with a flourish and then pops back up again...These actors march through the story like an army on the move. They take no prisoners, and make you sit up and pay attention, not only through their intimacy, but through their plain old skill. This is an ensemble that cares as much about each other as they do about the story...This production is magic. Pure and fine." Full Review
“As a concept, it holds together remarkably well…All these clashing sentiments burn bright in an accomplished ensemble combining London holdovers with newcomers…The urgency and immediacy of its storytelling make it a terrific introduction to a glittering musical by a composer at the peak of his powers, and also an invigorating new spin for audiences who know and love this brilliantly conceived Victorian nightmare.” Full Review
"The pie shop concept is cute at first, but 'Sweeney' is a heavily-plotted drama that involves many different locations. This production is awkwardly staged...At its best, 'Sweeney' can be terrifying, mesmerizing and sweeping, but this production sacrifices the storytelling and score for the sake of a gimmick. The cast is decent but not noteworthy." Full Review
“The show is intimate, inventive and as in-your-face as it gets...Reprising lead roles, Jeremy Secomb brings unblinking intensity as the titular throat-slitting barber, while Siobhan McCarthy is deftly daft as the baker who grinds victims into meat pies. Amid the atmosphere, narrative clarity can come out underbaked. Who’s that? Wasn’t the oven over there? And in a musical about justice, the singing doesn’t always do that to the majestic score.” Full Review
“While I am no fan of these mini-Sondheims, there are many pleasures to recommend this revival, adroitly staged by Bill Buckhurst in Simon Kenny’s uncanny setting. Atop the menu are Jeremy Secomb, truly, mesmerizingly terrifying in the title role…The other roles are superbly cast as well…Benjamin Cox’s arrangements for trio have their charms, but power doesn’t figure in the mix...This 'Sweeney Todd' provides delectable finger food when what you really want is the full meal.” Full Review
“Brilliantly inventive…Director Bill Buckhurst's approach is great fun…Everything about this propulsive staging works beautifully...A bigger orchestra could hardly top the effectiveness of this production's chamber sized threesome…None of this clever immersiveness would work without a cast who can deliver on all counts. And the Brits who pioneered the London hit do so with flying colors, as do the Americans who have now joined them.” Full Review
“Piping hot and tasty is this inventive revival…Once the lights go out, the show kicks in with full force. From the first note sung, we know we are in for a solid fantastic meal here…This production is filled to the brim with great voices, creativity, and a perfectly cast group of actors. Not one bad ingredient in the lot…The whole production is more fun and startling, rather than dark and moody which works so well in the environmental set-up." Full Review
“The excellent company work the crowd as is now the custom in immersive theater. Favorite songs as are beautifully done in juxtaposition with Todd’s machinations with the incomparable Mrs. Lovett. Siobhan McCarthy inhabits this role with a gorgeous voice and murderous glee…Under Bill Buckhurst’s direction, the play moves apace, and is a serious hoot. You are not likely to have more fun at any other play this season.” Full Review
“Just 10 actors play all the characters with creep-fest glee, if not always vocally astonishing power. Jeremy Secomb’s baritone is a little light for Sweeney’s deepest dark heart…Sondheim’s score is expertly reduced to just a piano, strings and wind trio. Somehow, Sondheim’s restless chromatics, the difficult disjunct vocal lines, the extended song forms and, especially, the wrenchingly beautiful choral writing are approached with the affection and awe they deserve.” Full Review
"With his dead eyes, hollow cheeks and slicked-back hair, Jeremy Secomb is a very scary Todd. Any vocal shortcomings are more than made up for by his commanding presence. Siobhan McCarthy is as fine a Mrs. Lovett as I have seen...Kudos to director Bill Buckhurst for holding everything together. It’s a unique theatrical experience that I highly recommend. I also suggest ordering the pre-show pot pie and mash for $20 with beverage." Full Review
“Buckhurst manages to find the perfect, and sometimes elusive, mix of macabre, mirth, and melodrama…Yep, you’ll laugh, you’ll gasp…And you’ll leave humming every bit of Sondheim’s magnificently diverse score, and immediately want to go back for seconds. (Even the three-piece orchestra is sufficiently wonderful!) Much of the credit for the production’s success belongs to the stunningly chosen eight-person cast.” Full Review
See it if You want to experience an excellent production of Sweeney Todd intamitely staged where the audience is part of the production.
Don't see it if You don’t like the musical Sweeney Todd or don’t like immersive staging.
See it if you want to experience an extremely skilled ensemble, you want a new theatrical experience of a classic musical
Don't see it if you don't enjoy Sondheim at all (he's not for everyone after all), you don't want macabre or dark humour
See it if you appreciate close-up/interactive theater experiences; if you enjoy dark themes in musicals; if you're a Sondheim fan.
Don't see it if you're squeamish about murders/blood;if you want a barrier between performers & audience;if you are looking for light entertainment
See it if Stephen Sondheim & Hugh Wheeler's classic is almost always worth seeing.
Don't see it if you don't know the show. Once more, everything is reduced and you have to know the show ahead of time! Aargh!
See it if you want to see a great alternative staging of one of the best musicals ever written. The very intimate setting works surprisingly well.
Don't see it if you want to be far away from the main action and don't want the possibility of an actor getting in your face.
See it if you want to see an inventive, lively, powerful staging of a Sondheim masterwork in an intimate (if slightly gimmicky) theatre-cum-pie shop.
Don't see it if you can't abide the very dark themes, vengeful characters & on-stage violence. [But just see it... and get the "best pies in the Village".]
See it if you want an immersive experience, you want clever lyrics with good acting & singing.
Don't see it if you want a classic staging, you don't like Sondheim, or you get easily triggered by violence.
See it if You love Sondheim. This is the best production of Sweeney Todd I have seen.
Don't see it if If you do not like to be part of the show. Depending on your seat, you might be right in the action.
See it if you want a small intimate but extremely unique staging experience. The actors sing, dance and interact with the audience throughout the show
Don't see it if you dont like shows about murder, small staging and an immersive theater experience
See it if You love to be in the middle of the action and to hear remarkable actors sing inches away from you. If you enjoy environmental theatre
Don't see it if You are intimidated by being in the center of the show. You don't like dark intense shows.
Also Not since Nicolas Nickleby have I been this engaged in a show!
See it if you like the story, haven't yet seen the play and want to see it or if you enjoy immersing plays in general.
Don't see it if you do like Sweeny Todd, have seen it and are not interested in being immersed in a play.
See it if You like intimate, immersive theatre and if you love Sondheim. Incredibly well done, the best production of Sweeney Todd I've ever seen!
Don't see it if You hate this show and like extravagant sets/theatres.
See it if A small clever production of Sweeney Todd appeals to you, with more audience interaction and creative staging. Great singing/acting!
Don't see it if You like more elaborate theater productions and more light hearted musicals.
See it if You absolutely love Sweeney Todd and want to see a very unique take on this classic. Incredible staging and acting.
Don't see it if You absolutely hate Sweeney Todd or Sondheim. If you do not like intimate settings this production is not for you.
See it if you enjoy Sondheim with some immersive theatre thrown in and kickbutt performances - I saw Carolee Carmello & Norm Lewis.
Don't see it if you like your theatre from a distance, are not a fan of musicals, and have to sit in a comfy chair.
See it if you want a refreshing version in a submissive environment where the audience is part of the performance & it is performed with a great cast
Don't see it if You like a big, splashy version of the show performed in a standard theater environment
See it if you'd like to see a masterfully delivered Sweeney with a stunning cast, including Carolee Carmello and Hugh Panaro. Great staging/ensemble.
Don't see it if you don't want to see a dark show with wide implication; you don't want to be touched/sung directly at. A few small liberties w/ the score.
See it if you enjoy being engulfed by the action and witnessing the talented actors literally get in your face. Acting/singing/staging was terrific.
Don't see it if you get easily annoyed having to turn your head and shift your body (perhaps opt for mezz seats if this is you), you find pie shop gimmicky
See it if If you are a theater, musical or Sondheim fan. By far one of the best productions of a masterpiece I have ever seen!
Don't see it if You want a simple show that requires no thought.